Vandals trash Medical Lake church

Pastor estimates $50K in damage done over the weekend

Published On: Jan 14 2013 06:36:33 PM PST
Medical Lake church vandalized

Vandalism and theft has one Medical Lake church picking up the pieces instead of holding service.

Sometime Saturday night, Lake City Assembly of God on East Grace Street was broken into. The vandals sprayed fire extinguishers in several rooms and destroyed others. The front door was smashed with a planted tree a dozen other doors kicked in or pried open, windows broken out and musical instruments doused with soda is just some of the damage.

The pastor at the church said they are looking at about $50,000 in damage.

"The people who did this or the person who did this decided to drink and leave cups. Make themselves a latte out of our coffee shop," said Nick Hawkins, senior associate pastor.

Hawkins says they discovered the damage early Sunday morning. Besides making coffee the vandals also cooked a couple of hot dogs in the kitchen after they sprayed it down with a fire extinguisher.

"Deputies that went there they were overwhelmed at the amount of damage that the suspects or suspect did at this church," said Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin.

Besides random destruction, the vandals broke into a Coke machine, drank a few sodas, stole some loose change then pried open a small safe in a back room.

"We're not calling it a hate crime because there was not evidence at the scene consistent with a hate crime," said Chamberlin.

While most of the glass in the sanctuary has been vacuumed, the church will have to replace the carpet and upholstery because of left over shards in the fabric.

"You know we want to say to them, 'We forgive you.' It doesn't mean it didn't hurt," said Hawkins.

Hawkins said this in not only a blow to the church but a pain felt throughout the community even down to Hawkins' own son.

"This is your second home. These are your family and so yeah it feels like your family has been violated and I can tell that trickled down to him. He felt like our family had been violated and he was worried about somebody coming in our house," said Hawkins.

Even with boarded doors the church remains standing with open arms.

"I mean we are here because we believe in forgiveness," said Hawkins.

Lake City Assembly of God will hold a prayer meeting on Wednesday evening and whether or not they have church in the sanctuary, they will definitely hold service next Sunday.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for any information that leads to an arrest in this case. Anyone with information is asked to call 327-5111. Callers can remain anonymous.