KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KMOV.com) — A historic church in Kirkwood has been targeted by vandals once again, marking three incidents in less than two months.
Vandals damaged the Eliot Unitarian Chapel church’s Black Lives Matter sign that sits on the front lawn for the first time on May 7. With each time, the church said the vandalism became increasingly aggressive.
On May 26, someone tried to rip the sign off its frame. A week ago, someone punched a hole through the word “Black”. On June 6, vandals ripped the entire sign from the frame overnight.
“We will not give in to hate. Love must always win,” Lead minister Rev. Barbara Gadon said.
The sign sits directly across the street from the Kirkwood Farmers Market, on South Taylor Avenue and Argonne Drive.
“It’s a message of hate and racism that this statement that is working for justice and human rights is nothing We want to obliterate this or we want to make fun of it,” said Rev. Gadon.
The church held a press conference and vigil Tuesday night to address the latest vandalism in front of the church. Since the death of Michael Brown in 2014, Eliot Unitarian Chapel has held a vigil each week for hope and healing.
“I don’t think they are white supremacists full of hate, I think they’re misguided,” said Bob Becker, who made the Black Lives Matter sign. “I think I’d be naive to think it’s going to stop now so when it gets vandalized again we’ll keep patching it or build a bigger, better sign.”
“You know we’re supposed to be a community that is honoring all people and that is clearly not,” said Kirkwood resident Dana Scheidt.
Rev. Gadon says the church is planning to add more and better surveillance cameras.
Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved
Credit: Source link