Church holds first service since vandalism
The Medial Lake Church struck with $55,000 worth of vandalism last weekend held its first church service since the incident.
Sometime overnight on Saturday, January 12th, police say 23-year-old Joseph Knop broke into the Lake City Assembly of God and sprayed fire extinguishers, smashed multiple doors and windows and doused musical instruments with soda.
They say Knop also helped himself to the church's espresso machine and hot dog stand before breaking into the church safe.
Police say Knop admitted to the crime and officers found several of the items stolen from the church inside Knop's home. He also revealed that he attended the church as a young boy.
A pastor at the church said Knop confessed to him that he was angry, dealing with family issues and was high when he decided to come to the church and "take it out on God."
The church sanctuary was not in any shape to hold service Sunday, so parishioners instead crowded into the gym. "It was wonderful to be back, it was really encouraging and awesome to see the love that comes to this church towards the man that did this," church member Bryan Keyes said.
Pastor Dennis Noble said he's amazed by the amount of love that's been pouring in since the vandalism and says the church forgives Knop.
"We are interested in him, we want to see change in his life," Noble said.
Noble said that on the Tuesday night after the vandalism spree, Knop told one of the church pastors he intended to burn the place down Saturday night and then kill himself.
"That would have been the tragedy of all tragedies, doors are easily replaced, carpet is replaced, his life isn't," Noble said. "This church is on Grace Street and we want to show grace to this young man."
Knop is being held on $10,000 bond for the crime, and appeared in court for a second time on charges unrelated to the church vandalism.
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