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Morgan County church gains hope after children vandalize building

“Our mood was somber at one time and so now, everything’s looking hopeful now because people are donating,”
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 8:06 PM CDT
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SOMERVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Leaders at a Morgan County church say the outpouring of help is overwhelming after their church was vandalized allegedly by 4 children. There was not any part of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Somerville that was left untouched.

Mike Swafford with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office says that investigators are putting a juvenile complaint which is sort of like an arrest warrant, and they’re going to give that over to juvenile probations who will set up court arrangements for the child suspects.

The kids accused of vandalizing the church are two girls ages 11 and 13 as well as two 14-year-old boys. Those four have been identified and given statements, but Swafford says they still think there’s going to be a fifth suspect. He says his deputies are dealing directly with the parents.

Lynette Burton is a member of the church and her father is the deacon. She tells me she was absolutely distraught when she walked into the church but says the community has been overwhelmingly supportive. Burton says people have been reaching out about joining the church so, she believes the less than the 25-member church will grow for this.

Overall, Burton says the members are optimistic and there’s definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

”Our mood was somber at one time and so now, everything’s looking hopeful now because people are donating, in the masses, they’re donating and we do appreciate this so very much. Needless to say, we are engaged, we are! I mean we are very active right now, everybody has to pick up and go and everybody wants to do this thing. But where we are right now, we are waiting on the insurance adjuster to give us how much they’re going to pay or if they’re gonna pay at all but right now, that’s what we’re kind of in limbo on at this time,” said Burton.

There’s a GoFundMe set up for St. Johns Missionary Baptist church to go towards the damages.

Sheriff Ron Puckett is sending out trustee inmates to help with the cleanup with the goal of having the church clean enough to be ready for service this Sunday.

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