Skip to comments.Church vandals create an unholy mess
Posted on 03/14/2002 7:31:43 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
Ron Rittenhouse/The Dominion Post photos
Charles Long (above right) attempts to knock out what's left of one of Oak Forest United Methodist Church's windows that vandals tossed rocks, bricks and pipes through on two different nights this week. The damage is not covered by church insurance, officials said. Long and Geneva Wolfe (above left), treasurer for Oak Forest United Methodist Church in rural western Monongalia County, survey the damage dealt by vandals this week. Above them a stained glass arch stands over the 120-year-old church entrance inside a foyer that was built years later. The vandals threw a rock through the outside window, which also made the hole in the center of the stained-glass.
BY JOHN WILFONG
The Dominion Post
Vandals attacked a rural Monongalia County church earlier this week, smashing most of the 120-year-old building's windows.
Charles "Bud" Long discovered the damage early Sunday morning when he arrived to turn on the heat for services at Oak Forest United Methodist Church on Brushy Fork Road.
Sometime Saturday night five of the windows were smashed with bricks and rocks, said Leona Wolfe, the church's secretary. The windows were broken, along with their screens, blinds and drapes, she said.
The church, built in 1882, is about four miles north of Wadestown. Apparently the white, one-room church made a handy target for the vandals. Set atop a hill, it stands isolated outside of town.
Wolfe said she and several other of the church's 10 members stayed after Mass on Sunday to cover the windows with plywood to protect the building from further damage. That worked fine for about a day.
"Monday night the vandals came again," she said.
They started by ripping down the wood parishioners put up a day earlier.
"I don't know, I guess they just did that out of meanness," she said of the second attack.
And this time they were wielding pipes, tossing them through the five other windows that were spared on Saturday night, she said. The aged structure earlier had a foyer built in front with a large window.
Inside the foyer was the original outside of the building and arching stained-glass entering the church. A rock hurled by a vandal smashed the clear glass outside and continued through to punch a hole in the 120-year-old stained glass.
The rampage didn't end there, Wolfe said. The church's electric meter was destroyed, though the building didn't lose power. Nearby mailboxes were also destroyed, Wolfe said.
The worst part is that the church's insurance doesn't cover vandalism, she said. The little bit of money the church had put aside was depleted from an earlier project that put new siding on the building just four months ago.
"Right now, we're looking for help from anyone," she said.
Anyone interested in helping the Oak Forest United Methodist Church can contact Wolfe at Oak Forest United Methodist Church, HC 67, Box 69, Hundred, WV 26575.
West Virginia State Police are investigating the vandalism.