Historic Danville Church Vandalized

Danville, VA - Members of a historic church in Danville say they're shocked after someone vandalized their building over the weekend.

A member of Schoolfield Church of the Brethren noticed the vandalism Saturday.

The church has been operating for over 100 years and is a historic part of the Schoolfield community.

"Yesterday morning, I had come over to do some yard work here at the church to prepare for today and it was quite shocking to go around the back of the church and see the destruction that had been done," said church member Rhiannon Pattison.

The vandalism includes three symbols and a phrase written in Latin, which translates to "Hail Satan".

"I really can't wrap my head around why anybody would want to do that. I don't understand what their purpose is," said Pastor Richard Berkley.

"The majority of the reaction was shock, disbelief that somebody would do this to a church. This is a very small community and we've never really had a lot of issues with vandalism," Pattison said.

Once they discovered the vandalism, members immediately called the police and then worked on getting the spray paint off. Many say the church is something that is near and dear to their hearts.

"The church was started by my great great, great, grandfather in 1911," said Pastor Berkley.

"We've been through WWI, WWII, Vietnam. We're still standing and we're still growing strong," said church member Branwen Berkley.

Members of the church say they feel sorry for whoever defaced their church, and they'll move on.

"You can do whatever you want to the outside of this building, you can't change what's in the inside," Pastor Berkley said.

"We'll just paint over it, it'll be fine," Branwen Berkley said.

Danville Police say because of the message that was spray painted on the church, the person responsible could possibly be charged with a hate crime.