Church Bounces Back After June Break-In - WSET.com - ABC13

Church Bounces Back After June Break-In

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Goode, VA - One area church is bouncing back from a major break-in. It left almost everything inside from the pews to the pulpit completely ruined.

The raid happened more than a month ago at Mount Rock Baptist Church in Goode. Members of the church say there's still no leads on the investigation. Many questions still remain for the congregation of 50, but they say they won't be scared away.

This church's roots run deep, dating back to the days of slavery in Bedford County. And that deep-rooted faith is keeping them strong.

Mount Rock Baptist Church started with a simple sermon on a rock, almost 200 years ago.

"It went from on a rock to a log cabin, and that got burned down and they built another log cabin and that got burned down," said James Anderson, Jr., chairman of the Deacon Committee.

Over the years, they re-built again and again on the same land. Now, they're replacing almost everything from Bibles to pews that were destroyed in a break-in.

"We're upset, it hurts, it feels as though someone just passed away, because the church is just so near and dear to us," said church secretary Kim Anderson.

A sight of complete destruction greeted church members one Sunday morning in late June. Everything inside was sprayed down with a fire extinguisher. And the pulpit, tables, even pews and pianos were all torn up.

"It looked like they just had a party in here, came from one end to the other, went through and just destroyed everything," said James Anderson, Jr.

The upstairs of the church is bare, with the carpeting ripped up and the pews removed, one month after the damage happened. At first, investigators thought it was about $10,000 worth of damage, now that estimate's gone up to at least $28,000.

"The first thing that came to my mind is why would someone do something to the house of God like this?," said James Anderson, Jr.

So they did what they've been doing for the past 200 years. They're singing, praising and praying for God's blessing.

"But we're still being strong in the name of the Lord, and we'll just keep on keeping on. It's brought everyone closer," said church member James Anderson III.

But they do have a message for the person or persons who tried to crush Mount Rock.

"I would like to tell them I hope they come forth but if not, the Lord knows who they are," said James Anderson, Jr.

James Anderson, Jr.. says nothing was stolen from the church. In the meantime, everything from the chandeliers to the carpet is being replaced upstairs.

Insurance has covered most of the damage costs, and repairs are expected to wrap up in the next few weeks.

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