GREENSBORO, N.C. (Christian Examiner) -- Gay graffiti, shattered windows and thousands of dollars in damages defaced the property of two North Carolina Christian congregations earlier this month and local police are searching for information about who committed the vandalism.
"God loves gays" and "He hates you!" were among the words spray painted across the exteriors of Bales Memorial Wesleyan Church in Jamestown and Grace Baptist Church in Greensboro during the April 12 weekend.
Vulgar language was included in the graffiti as well.
Officials and church staff still question why the two congregation were targeted and who might want to damage the two properties. In addition to broken glass, BMWC suffered destroyed landscaping, signs ripped from the ground and damage to the church bus. Repairs and replacements are likely to cost about $10,000, Carl Pulliam, pastor of BMWC said.
"I can't tell you a reason that someone would target this church, particularly because this is a loving church," Pulliam, BMWC told reporters. "This is not a judgmental place or a place where someone would ever feel provoked to these kinds of acts."
On his Facebook page, Grace Baptist Pastor Paul Coward attributed the hate-filled acts to the sin nature of mankind.
"Why would someone stoop so low to vandalize a church? In a word: Sin! The prophet Jeremiah says that 'the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked above all things,'" he posted. "Yes, it's true that Satan opposes God and he is probably laughing about this vandalism. But God's [Word] shows us the destructive sin nature found in all mankind—including each one of us!"
Neither church leader voiced ill will toward the offenders, but instead offered forgiveness.
" All we can do is just pray for them," Coward told WFMY News 2.
After church volunteers worked together to clean up property damage over the weekend, the Bales Memorial congregation continued with their Sunday celebration services.
"We're not angry at them. We forgive them. That's not who we are," Pulliam said. "Someone meant ill will to this house of worship," he continued. "This was done to stop our message. That part didn't succeed. It actually perpetuates our message."
Police have not yet determined if the two incidents, which occurred a day and half apart, were related. If caught, the individuals who committed the senseless acts face criminal charges.