Hateful messages spray painted inside Mesa church

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by Crystal Cruz

azfamily.com

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 8 at 12:33 PM

Map: Mount Calvary Baptist Church

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MESA, Ariz. -- Church members made a disturbing find this week at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Mesa.
 
On Monday night parishioners found graffiti on the walls and floor of the church’s gym.

“When I walked in I was just shocked,” said Deacon James Miller.

Someone spray painted hateful messages on the wall. One of the words used was too nasty to share on 3TV News.

There's also the number 666 spray painted just below it.

“It makes me feel like someone is sick in the mind, psychopath or something,” said Miller.

Over the phone, Pastor David Wade told 3TV he was just, “blown out of the water” by the crime.

He is in New York and said he wished he was back in Mesa to see the vandalism. Wade said the church has been a part of the Mesa community for 95 years.

He is the third pastor in nearly a century to preach at the church. The church prides itself on working with adults and children in the community.

Wade said the church has been located in the building on Broadway Road near Gilbert Road for more than seven years.

In all of these years Wade said nothing like this had ever happened to the church.

The taggers could have gotten into the building through unlocked doors. Mesa Police detectives are investigating the crime.

Investigators are trying to determine if the graffiti is connected to vandalism elsewhere.

“Why they chose the church we clearly don't know at this point. Obviously we would rather not have them tag the church or anything else in the area,” said Steven Berry with the Mesa Police Dept.

The graffiti isn't considered a hate crime, but for church members it is hurtful.

While the tagger's message was clear, the deacon had a message of his own.

“I'm not mad at them. But I'm kind of mad at their mind because they have a deviant type mind,” said Miller.

Call police if you know anything about the crime.
 

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