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Oxford’s Meadowbrook Baptist vandalized, robbed after evangelistic eventcomment (0)

August 5, 2010

Three adults and one juvenile have been arrested in connection with vandalizing and robbing Meadowbrook Baptist Church, Oxford, overnight July 12. At press time, the arrest of another adult was still pending.

The Calhoun Baptist Association church had hosted a three-day evangelistic outreach that included an inflatable slide, which was set up behind the church. The five suspects apparently had seen the slide earlier that day and returned to Meadowbrook Baptist between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. to play on it, according to a report from the Oxford Police Department.

But the slide had been deflated.

“They were bored,” said Sgt. L.G. Owens, an investigator with the Police Department. “They noticed [an] open window, and they went in and played basketball. It then turned into criminal action and theft.”

The door leading to the child-care office was broken down and approximately $100 was stolen. Finger paint was smeared on the walls and floor of the child-care center, and markers, candy and other snacks were taken.

But Pastor Gary Rivers said, “They left signs that they had been throughout the church.”

A glass pane by the main office door and a lamp in the hallway outside the office were broken and some petty cash was stolen from the main office, said David Bain, Meadowbrook’s minister of music and administration.

Bain also believes that the suspects stole the U.S. flag in front of the church building.

“It was mostly foolishness and meanness,” he said. “We hope we’ll have some way of reaching them through this. We forgive [them] for this. We believe there are no accidents. God allowed this to come into our ministry for a purpose.”

A court hearing is pending. (TAB)

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