The Union Missionary Baptist Church, located on Union Camp Road in Lafayette, was reportedly burglarized and ran-sacked sometime after 11 p.m. on Thursday, July 24.
Reported to police the following morning as church members showed up for the 10 a.m. services, it was estimated that a total of over $1,000 in damage was done to the building and several items inside the church.
According to the offense report, a side window of the church was broken using the lid from a propane tank, which police found laying on the ground.
Police also found what appeared to be blood on the windowsill and a DNA sample was collected.
Inside the church, hymnals were scattered on the floor, Bibles were destroyed and pictures were torn. The church covenant was removed from the wall and slammed down over the mourner’s bench, ripping a large hole through it. A box containing Sunday School items was also taken from the building and thrown outside, and at the end of the road, police found suckers, a tape recorder, papers and crayons scattered in a small area.
Damage to the back door of the church led police to believe the suspect(s) tried to gain entry there first, but without any success, the suspect(s) opted to enter through the window.
In addition to the DNA evidence left at the scene, a pair of wet, black New Balance tennis shoes, were found in the back of the church and a gray t-shirt was discovered in an outside restroom.
Several fingerprints were also lifted from the scene, and all physical evidence was taken to the Macon County Sheriffs Department for processing.
During the week of the break-in, Union Missionary Baptist Church members were celebrating a revival and, after discovering the damage to their church, held Friday morning’s 10 a.m. service outside on the church lawn, praying for the person(s) who caused so much destruction to their house of worship.
“We regret that anybody would want to do this to our place of worship,” said Union Missionary Baptist Pastor Michael Brawner. “We don’t feel angry, mad or vengeful . . . we just regret that someone would do this. We don’t hold anything against whoever did it, we just feel blessed that it wasn’t worse and we hope that if someone is caught, that it will prevent something worse from happening in the future.”