Pastor in 'Shock' After Someone Vandalizes His Roanoke Co. Church
Roanoke Co., VA - Investigators are looking for whoever is responsible for vandalizing Celebration Church of God in Roanoke County on Ash Wednesday.
Senior Pastor Sam Belisle says his team locked the doors Wednesday about 8 p.m. and by the time the first worker came back to the church at 5:30 a.m., the vandals had struck.
The hallways, the classrooms and even the sanctuary were all desecrated. Two laptops and microphones were also stolen.
Belisle says this is a first for him, and he's been at this church alone for 18 years.
"Southwest County... these things don't happen in southwest County. They have now," he said. " I was in shock that someone would do that I was angry that someone would come into our church and violate it in that respect."
But time heals - for some a process that doesn't take as long as others, especially if there's a little help.
"Biblically, there's forgiveness. Whoever did this, I forgive them. I hold no ill will. I don't wish anything horrible happen to them," said Belisle.
That's the lesson Belisle will be teaching this Sunday when his flock comes to a church that is just a little different now.
"You have to keep going forward. Your faith really has to kick in gear. And that's when you really know how strong your faith is. And so it's tested our faith."
In all, the church says the damage is at least several thousand dollars with at least as much in computers and microphones being stolen.
Roanoke County Police say so far, there have been no arrests. They say the people responsible face larceny and property damage charges.