Destructive church break-in mends community ties in Blount County
A confession has put a group of kids as young as 12-years old at the center of a string of church and home break-ins in Blount County, according to sheriff’s office.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - On Wednesday, church members spent hours cleaning Smyrna Baptist Church following a midnight burglary and vandalism in May. According to the the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, between May 13 and the 20 two 12-year old’s, who live nearby, broke into the church and two other homes. The damage totaled up on about $200,000.
Neighbors told WVLT News’ Gwendolyn Ducre that it looks like someone was making a statement, but leaders said they don’t know the kids.
“I don’t have anything bad to say about those who done what they did, we just hope they come to know Jesus Christ,” Pastor Andy Nichols said.
Shattered windows, condiments splattered on the walls and Bible ruins were all leftovers from a midnight burglary and vandalism. Pastor Nichols said he’s focusing on the good coming from the incident. He said the clean up is bringing communities and people together.
“God’s blessed us. It’s not about the money. The building is a beautiful place, yes it is but it’s a place where we come together and worship. And that’s what it’s all about,” Nichols said. “Jesus Christ saves and he came seeking to save that, which is lost and that’s what’s most important.”
Their coming together allowed them to have church service the same morning as the break-in.
The 12-year-olds were charged with multiple counts of vandalism and aggravated burglary charges. One of the of boys was released to his mother while the other was held due to his behavior during court.
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