SHAFTER, Calif. (KERO) — The Church of Nazarene in Shafter was hit by vandals last Wednesday, with damage left to the pews, windows, floor, and more. Now church leaders are working to remodel their building after the vandalism.
The Shafter Police Department says the cost of the damage done is in excess of $5,000.
Keven Huckaby is the lead pastor of Ridgeview Community Church in Bakersfield. Huckaby is one of the pastors who oversees the Church of Nazarene. Se says this isn’t the firs time the church has been broken into. Three months ago, various windows were broken.
This time around, Huckaby said he wasn’t expecting what he saw.
“I was driving out there assuming that maybe they broke a window or something like that. When I walked inside and saw the devastation, I was shocked. Immediately I was angry, then I was disturbed at the sight that I saw,” said Huckaby. “They were just as destructive as they could be. I was heartbroken that there were people out there, especially if it was young people, who felt like this was an okay thing to do and it’s not.”
Huckaby says he does not believe the vandalism was racially motivated.
“I don’t think that was the reason in particular. I don’t think it was a hate crime,” said Huckaby. “I just think it was some young people who made a really poor decision.”
Following the vandalism, Huckaby posted to the church’s Facebook page that the congregation would begin working to repair the building. Huckaby says they received an overwhelming amount of support for the community as they showed up to help.
“People started sharing our post. It kept going and going, it went crazy,” said Huckaby. “We ended up on Saturday with about 100 people that showed up from 17 different churches.”
One week after the vandal or vandals struck, Huckaby says the church is still continuing the repair process, and are working to install a security system to prevent this from happening in the future.
The case is still under investigation. The Shafter Police department is asking anyone with any information about the vandalism to call them at 746-8500.