Vandal hits several churches in Jefferson Countycomment (0)
July 3, 2014
Reportedly inspired by the Holy Spirit, Eja Cree was taken into custody June 20 after vandalizing more than 20 churches, homes and businesses in Jefferson County.
At press time, Cree, 31, was being detained and charged with first-degree criminal mischief. He told detectives the Holy Spirit told him to “get the message out.” Cree spray-painted one word on most of the buildings with a variation of “Memeneusha” in bright-colored paint. Another suspect also was in custody.
Chief Deputy Randy Christian told al.com, “I think we are just dealing with mental illness here and we are relieved to discover that. I would hate to think someone in their right mind would do something like this.”
Several churches were hit by Cree including First Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove, and Bethel Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove.
A member of First, Pleasant Grove, said church members and staff immediately began to clean the paint off the sidewalk and building when they discovered it early June 20.
“The fact that they caught the person and he’s getting the help he needs was a little comforting,” the member said.
Bethel Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove, also was vandalized.
Church secretary Susan McLellan said after discovering the spray-painted word she and other church staff called the police. They cleaned the wall where the word was written with a power washer and cleaned the grass that had red paint on it as well.