A Belvidere Church is the sight of vandalism that used racial slurs and Nazi symbol. The Zion Luther Churcch Pastor and residents hope the community ignores this divisive act and unites instead.
“It’s completely appalling that somebody would do something like that,” said Belvidere Resident Jack Clem.
“It’s always shocking,” said Pastor Scott Stolberg. “You don’t want to see anything like that anywhere, not just on a church building, but on any building in a community.”
Pastor Stolberg believes the vandal struck overnight. The church’s Daycare Director notified the church’s Property Manager first thing in Tuesday morning. “He said, you should probably come here to the church and take a look at what’s on the building,” said Stolberg. “Mike saw it and immediately started to take care of it.” Now the church sits with mismatched shades of yellow, covering up what used to be a visible Swastika and a racist term against African-Americans. “This will probably prompt us to do sometihng on the front side of the church,” said Stolberg. Such as, putting up surveillance cameras. There are already some installed in the back of the church due to prior, less offensive incidents of vandalism.
“It obviously negatively affects the community,” said Clem. “Hopefully they [know] not everyone is like that and [don’t] look negatively on the community.” Clem heard about what happened from his 14 -year old daughter and hopes the community can learn from this situation and come together. “She knows that it’s wrong and something like that isn’t right,” said Clem.
“I hope people rally together to say this isn’t something that’s ok,” said Stolberg.
The church holds a community meal every second Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m. On Wednesday, July 10th, Pastor Stolberg invites everyone, including those outside of the congregation to join. He hopes to have positive discussion about the incident.