WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Targeted. That’s what a Wichita church says happened to them a day after Easter.
When the Table of Hope Pastor Jackie Carter showed up Monday, she says she found multiple windows broken and smashed on the historic church. It’s a church that doesn’t have your typical congregation.
“To be honest, I sat right on that swing set and started crying,” says Carter. “This is thousands of dollars worth of damage.”
Sixteen windows cracked, shattered and broken.
“It has gone beyond somebody just wanting to have some fun,” Carter explains. “We are not at that stage anymore.”
“It is heart breaking,” Ady Gutierrez, who attends the church, asks, “Why?”
If it looks like this crew knows how to replace a few windows, it is because they do.
“I think we are probably around 175,” says Carter.
“Sounds about right,” says Gutierrez. “I would be willing to bet this is the fourth or fifth time this has happened.”
The pastor and her congregation believe it has something to do with their message. A message of inclusion.
“I did not hear about any other churches that were vandalized on Easter?” says Gutierrez.
No matter how you identify, there’s a place for you at the Table of Hope. They welcome the LGBTQ community, something they don’t believe is a very popular message with some people.
“I called my partner and said I do not know what to do anymore,” Carter explains. “It just seems like I am constantly replacing windows.”
“That is not including the time they actually broke in and completely robbed us and decimated us,” Gutierrez adds.
But even in the most difficult circumstances beautiful things can still grow.
“One of my friends posted on Facebook that these are the very people who need to hear what I have to say,” Carter adds.
“I wish them peace,” says Gutierrez.
The church was able to gather and replace the windows on the first floor and will have the stained glass fixed sometime later this week. If you know anything about the case, you are asked to contact the Wichita Police Department.