HARMONY, NC (WBTV) - A small country church in northern Iredell County was vandalized on Sunday morning, but an Iredell Sheriff's deputy made sure that members of the congregation were not greeted by an ugly sign of hate as they arrived to worship.
It happened at the Houstonville Church in the Harmony community.
According to the report, a church deacon and his wife arrived to open the church for the Easter Sunday service when they noticed that a black swastika had been spray painted on the front door.
They also noticed eggs that had been thrown against the front of the church, and tire tracks in the church yard.
Deacon Terry Bullin and wife Ellen called 911, and within a few minutes, Deputy Cody James arrived.
James looked at the damage, took some pictures, then made an unusual request. He asked for a can of paint and a brush.
"They grabbed me a can of paint and a brush and said 'you'll get your uniform nasty,'" Deputy Cody said. "I said, if you'll just give it to me, let me paint so that y'all can get ready for church."
Deputy James went to work, and within a few minutes, the offending symbol was covered up, as white as snow.
"This is what I thought needed to be done," James said. "I didn't expect anything out of it."
The Bullins are very appreciative to Deputy James.
"Well, that's not really an officer's duty," Ellen Bullin said. "And I thought he cares that much about what our church looks like, on Sunday morning, Easter Sunday morning, to take his time to paint our front door. Law enforcement is usually reported in a negative way, and I just wanted to let people know that we have a lot of good guys out there in law enforcement."
"I'm very proud to be able to tell that Deputy James is one of our employees," said Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell. "And to do a good deed like that on an Easter Sunday at a small country church is unbelievable, and that's exactly the type of people we want working for us."
At this point there are no leads in the case. Church members can't understand why anyone would damage their property, but they are grateful to Deputy James for his actions.
"The Apostle Paul said be not overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good, and I feel like this is something that has been done in this situation," Bullin added.