Vandals hit Organ Lutheran again

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 16, 2011

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — Organ Lutheran Church was vandalized a second time last night, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
Monday morning, Warrior Golf Club in China Grove also reported a similar crime involving spray painted graffiti, defaced state and American flags and other property damage.
This morning, a member of Organ Lutheran called Pastor Carlin Ours to report graffiti on the church’s new building.
That building had not been vandalized in a previous incident reported Tuesday morning, in which the door and wall of the nearby historic church building were spray painted.
The sheriff’s office said Satanic symbols, along with various words and phrases, were sprayed on the new church in red, white, blue and black paint.
Organ Lutheran Church, also known as Zion Lutheran, sits just southwest of Rockwell at 1515 Organ Church Road, Salisbury. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest stone Lutheran church in North Carolina.
Authorities are trying to determine whether the incidents at the church and a golf club in Rowan County are part of a string of vandalism that stretches through three counties.
Monday morning, Warrior Golf Club, 1150 Lake Wright Road, China Grove, reported that someone had spray painted the clubhouse building, two garage doors, concrete walls, a bag stand, a back door and several signs.
According to the Sheriff’s Office report, the club’s flagpole was knocked down, and there was graffiti sprayed on the state and American flags. A post was pulled down and shoved in the mailbox, which also was spray painted.
Lights along a garden pathway appeared to have been pulled out or kicked out of place, the report said, and two of the lamps were painted with swastikas.
The graffiti included pentagrams, the number “666” and the phrase “Dream Team,” according to the report.
Trash cans were emptied out, and a torn up newspaper was found littering the flowerbed. The report said the club’s newspaper is usually delivered around 5:30 a.m., and the vandalism was found around 6:30 a.m. Monday.
Several churches and businesses in Stanly County, along with a church in Anson County, also have reported that they were vandalized Sunday night or early Monday morning.
The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to assist local authorities in investigating these crimes.
Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of up to $1,000 in both counties for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects in this case.
Those with information may call the Stanly County Crime Stoppers at 704-982-0711 or the Anson County Crime Stoppers at 704-694-4188.