GASTONIA, N.C. (WBTV) - Right before bible study started Wednesday night, a Gaston County pastor and some of his parishioners put up a brand new cross after someone set fire to the previous cross at the church.
The pastor spent all day working on it.
Police are investigating the incident after a cross was set on fire outside the church.
The incident happened early Wednesday morning at the Loray Baptist Church on West Franklin Boulevard in Gastonia. Church members say a homeless man who prays by the cross was having his moment with God, and when he looked up he saw the cross burning. That’s when he called 911.
Over Easter weekend, the cross was decorated with flowers and a white veil. Now as you drive along West Franklin, all you see is burned pieces of wood where the cross used to be.
Church members say this was an evil act. They are hoping the fire wasn’t set because of a black guest pastor who is coming to speak to the church next Sunday.
“He was weeping just uncontrollably,” said Cynthia Starr, a church member, in reference to the man who called police.
Showing devotion to his faith and his church, Dr. Kent Cranford, the pastor at Loray Baptist, spent most of Wednesday building a brand-new cross all by himself in the church parking lot.
Members of the church say the crime won’t shake their spirit.
“Please pray for whoever did this act and that they see the wrong in their errors,” said Jeane Moore, another church member.
“Absolutely, they need the Lord,” said Starr.
Anyone with information about the incident should call the Gastonia Police Department at 704-866-6880.