Deputies searching for Ringgold church vandals
Catoosa County sheriff's deputies need your help finding out who broke into a Ringgold church and vandalized it.
It happened sometime between Sunday night and Tuesday afternoon at Gospel Way Baptist Church.
Church members say someone broke down a door. They were possibly looking for money and when they didn't find it, they started causing trouble leaving a mess.
Shattered windows and dented walls are what's left from vandals breaking into Gospel Way Baptist Church in Ringgold.
"The church is God's house. You don't get away with that,” Billy Paradise who is a Deacon for the church said.
Paradise said a janitor spotted the damage and called the sheriff's office.
"We don't want to see people going to jail and all of that kind of stuff right there, but at the same time, we want them whoever did this, we want them to pay for their crimes on this right here,” Paradise said.
Paradise said the damage adds up to about $2,000-$3,000. Nothing was taken as far as he can tell.
Other items the vandals destroyed are priceless like a guitar. It has the names of children who attended the church's camp.
"You can't replace that kind of stuff right there and why someone would just come in here and do that, just to be mean. That's what that is just to be mean,” Paradise said.
For Paradise, it’s personal.
He's been a member of Gospel Way for nearly five decades and married his wife at the church. He calls the acts of vandalism disturbing.
"It's something that, it's a shock to us. That's just the truth of it. It's a shock to us,” Paradise said.
The one area left untouched was the sanctuary. Paradise is thankful for that.
He has a message for the vandals.
"Come to church with us and ask God to forgive you for this kind of stuff right here,” Paradise said.
Church members will be installing security cameras soon. They hope to have the damage from the vandals repaired by this Sunday.
If you have any information that could help, call the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office at (706) 935-2424 ext. 1022 and ask for Detective Daniel Thacker.