Photo provided to The Charlotte Observer courtesy of Wedgewood Church
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
Religious leaders, community members, county, and city leaders joined together Monday after a south Charlotte church was once again targeted by vandals.
The pastor of the church says someone reportedly spray painted "fags are pedophiles" on their front doors.
The derogatory language was found painted on the front doors of the Wedgewood Church Wednesday. The church's sign which read, "LGBT" Equality," was also sprayed painted over.
This is the 7th incident of vandalism at the church in the past several years. Graffiti written on the building, to threats, and theft have all been reported.
“We come together and become more dedicated to our mission," said Co-Pastor Reverend Chris Ayers. "We are just astonished by the support that we have received.”
Nearly half of the congregation at Wedgewood Church identifies as LGBT, Ayers said.
Monday, faith leaders held a "Unity Vigil" in front of the church to stand in solidarity with the congregation.
“Seven times is a trend and trends of this nature tend to escalate,” said Kahran Myers, Faith and Public Life. “There is that old saying that says disagree but be disagreeable. People are no longer disagreeable.”
Community members also gathered in front of the church to show their support.
"When that is under assault, we are all under assault,” said Helen Faris, who lives nearby.
“I would hope in my lifetime that we would see a big change. That everybody would be accepted for who they are and what they are,” said Nancy Nance, who lives near the church. “People can be different and still be the same.”
A company has donated a security system to the church and the co-pastors are working to install lights around the property. Wedgewood Church already hires officers to patrol the grounds during events.
“It is pretty sad that a church would have to hire security, but that is just the time that we live in,” said Ayers.