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Surveillance cameras capture Lehigh Acres church vandalization

Lehigh Acres church vandalized
Posted at 10:44 PM, Dec 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-29 22:52:38-05

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — A church in Lehigh Acres was vandalized late Friday night.

Members of the community took to social media in search of the suspect caught on surveillance cameras.

Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lehigh Acres has been a part of the community for nearly six decades.

Late Friday night, surveillance cameras captured a person vandalizing the property.

Several benches were ripped apart, speakers and lights pulled from the walls, and a memorial stone was damaged.

The congregation believes other people were involved.

“It’s a place that does not belong to a group of people, it belongs to the community and it was very devastating very sad,” said the church’s pastor, Jhon Correa.

Charles Emery, was the first person to discover the damage Saturday morning.

He says it not necessarily about the physical destruction, but more about the long term effects it will have on the church.

“Any disruption of the overall mission takes away from how we can serve people, and that’s the whole idea we are here to serve,” said Charles Emery.

After filing a police report, members of the congregation say they do not seek to punish the individuals but simply to provide support.

“We would be open, we would sit down with them...maybe its something in their lives that they are angry. We are always willing to listen,” said Charles Emery.

“We would love to walk with these people to find out what are they missing...how can we be a part of that journey together and bring light and wholeness not only to them but to the community,” said the church’s pastor, Jhon Correa.

Although this incident is still under police investigation, members of the church say they want the individuals to come forward in hopes to provide them with a loving community & mentorship.