Vandals Ransack Shoals Church, Pastor Speaks Out

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) - The Grace Episcopal Church in Sheffield got ransacked by vandals.  Lamp posts were knocked down and every door got broken and pried open.

The thieves stole cash but the pastor says the senseless damage done to the church is most shocking.

“The place was just in disarray,” said Grace Episcopal Church Pastor, Rick Oberheide.

Oberheide walked into his office and found his computer tipped over and the contents of his closets, scattered. 

“The first impression was kinda shock when you see something like it’s not suppose to be, trying to make sense of it.  Then I felt a real sense of violation like, it`s a sacred place to me, this is my church family.  Somebody walked into it without any respect or regard to the sanctity of this place and what it represents and turned it upside down,” said Oberheide.

The pastor believes the vandals cut a screen on an outside door to get inside.

“When you do things like this there are consequences and it’s not just consequences for the victim, there are also consequences for the perpetrator,” said Oberheide.   “I believe in justice.  I also believe in mercy and sometimes they are not mutually exclusive.”

Oberheide says he wants the vandals caught and prosecuted.  “I`ll be glad to visit you in jail and comfort you in your affliction,” said the pastor.

The pastor believes the vandals were inside the church for nearly two hours, late Monday night.

The vandals destroyed areas in the church, but did not steal anything valuable.

If you have any information about this case you are asked to call the Shoals Area Crime Stoppers Tipline at 256-386-8685.

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