Posted: Mar 12, 2013 5:06 PM by Erin Schattauer
Updated: Mar 12, 2013 5:12 PM
BOZEMAN - When you walk into Kirkwood Baptist Church, you can't help but notice it immediately - black graffiti spray-painted all over the front foyer wall.
That's just the beginning. Black spray paint can be seen all over the walls in several rooms of the 15th Avenue church.
If you turn right into the fellowship hall, located off of the foyer, you see the walls and tables covered in more black spray paint. A window in the fellowship hall is shattered and boarded over; this is where police believe those responsible for the crime broke into the church. Outside, on the ground, lies the shattered glass.
More graffiti was left in the sanctuary where the word "sheep" is scrawled several times on the walls above the pews. The word "liar" is spray-painted on a screen over the pulpit. Up the stairs in the sanctuary where the church's computers and other electronic equipment is located is more damage. Monitors are smashed, a computer was damaged, but nothing was stolen, according to Pastor James Wyatt.
You can follow the vandalism down the hall into the youth pastor's office where a Bible was burned and several of its pages were torn out.
The vandalism has left Pastor Wyatt feeling violated.
"We found out Saturday that someone had broken in and just had taken some spray paint and just done some graffiti throughout the different areas of the church; the fellowship hall, sanctuary, things of that nature and done some damage to some equipment," Wyatt said.
"They also damaged some musical equipment with some sort of hard object," Detective Scott McCormick added.
Cleaning companies and other professionals are being called in to begin the cleanup process on the church. Wyatt says they do not know yet how long it will take or how much it will cost to clean up the mess.
The church held services on Sunday, the day after the graffiti was discovered. Members are carrying on as usual despite the damage.
"We have to stay focused on our message and that's what we're staying focused on and that's where we get our strength and everything from and that's why we're moving forward," Wyatt said.
Police are releasing few details at this point on the vandalism.