Local church gets more help after vandalism - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local church gets more help after vandalism

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Thanks to the help of volunteers, satanic and other graffiti from earlier this week has been cleaned off the outside of Old Rugged Cross Baptist Church in Ooltewah. But this didn't stop a group of children from a nearby school from wanting to help.

"We do a community service project every month," says their teacher, Kathy Anthes. "The kids are very community service-minded. It's part of our bible curriculum. It's part of the school."

Anthes says helping a place of worship was a no-brainer for these firth and sixth graders at Standifer Gap Seventh Day Adventist School.

"The kids said why would anyone do that to a church? We have to do something," adds Anthes.

With the graffiti gone, they asked the pastor's wife for suggestions. The idea bloomed of planting a flower bed under the marquee. They spent the school day in the warm sun clearing overgrowth, pulling weeds, and laying down soil before planting. The children had fun sprucing up the landscape.

READ MORE | Local church vandalized with satanic messages and symbols

"It's good for the church and it's kind to do it," says sixth grader Zac Kincaid.

"We just like community service," says Adison Hilton, also a sixth grader. "We like to do that kind of stuff and we like spreading the word about Jesus."

Pastor Ricky Kesley couldn't be more pleased and impressed.

"This is what we need to teach our kids. Instead of being vandals, they can be a help to the community," says Kesley.

The small congregation appreciates their big hearts.

"We want to thank everybody who has taken part in this," adds Kesley, holding back tears. "I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart."

The Hamilton County Sheriff's office continues to investigate the graffiti as an act of vandalism, not a hate crime. They ask anyone with information in the case to call their office.

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