• 55°

Vandals damage Kannapolis church; suspects sought

KANNAPOLIS — Despite two recent crimes at his church, a Kannapolis pastor has asked the community to pray for those responsible.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office investigators say they are looking into who vandalized Bethpage United Methodist Church. The vandalism comes a few months after a man was charged late last year with breaking into the church’s Boy Scouts trailer.

Someone damaged the prayer chapel at the church, located at 109 Fellowship Ave., between at 6 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Monday. According to a department report, nothing was taken but someone broke windows and other items that were strewn about the floor.

Investigators found a Skittles candy wrapper, a protein bar wrapper, a Mason jar containing an unknown liquid and a cigarette butt.

“We are surprised that somebody would do this,” said Pastor Mark Vickers.

The chapel, which sits a few yards from the church on a 22-acre property, has always been open to people who need to pray while traveling, Vickers said.

“We always wanted it to be a place of spiritual refuge for families who need to have some time with God,” Vickers said.

The church has been looking into installing surveillance video or another security system.

Vickers said it’s unfortunate that the church has had to consider investing in such security measures. The church has a team that has been addressing these issues for a few months.

“Continue to pray,” Vickers said.

He said the damage will take time to repair and is costly but minimal. He encouraged church members to “continue to pray for those who felt the need to do this” and said the chapel continues to be a sanctuary for those in need and a place to find God.

In November, Rowan County authorities charged Jason Sheets with breaking into the Scout trailer. The trailer held camping supplies and equipment. Authorities said the church determined Sheets was living on the church property and investigators said he had stolen the items and used them to keep warm at a makeshift campsite.

Anyone with information about the latest incident is asked to contact the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700 or Salisbury-Rowan CrimeStoppers at 866-639-5245.

Comments

Business

Multi-building development on East Innes begins to take shape after years of delays

Education

‘We know what time it is’: Livingstone students hear from local candidates for office

Education

Shoutouts

Local

Lee Street theatre pivots after positive COVID-19 tests cancel live shows

Elections

Local voters say first presidential debate devoid of substance, contained little to change minds

High School

Interest is spiking in South volleyball

Education

Education Briefs: Superintendent survey now available for community members

Education

Celebrating national 4-H week

Education

Robots with phonics: Rockwell Elementary is blending subjects to engage with kids

Crime

Agreement to divert minor disciplinary incidents from court ready for public feedback

Nation/World

Biden, Trump snipe from road and rails after debate chaos

Nation/World

Debate commission says it will make changes to format

Coronavirus

County moves up to fourth in state for COVID-19 deaths

Crime

Photo: Truck wanted in connection with Reaper’s Realm shooting

Coronavirus

North Carolina moves to Phase 3, but COVID progress is ‘fragile’

Coronavirus

Changes to expect when phase three starts Friday

Crime

Blotter: Concord man faces weapons, marijuana charges after traffic stop

Elections

Political sign stealing on the rise in Rowan as campaign season heats up

News

Chaotic first debate: Taunts overpower Trump, Biden visions

Elections

Debate takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

News

Appalachian State student dies following COVID complications

Local

Planning board OKs rezoning for 5-acre property on Mooresville Road

Business

Kannapolis seeking redevelopment proposals for site of old baseball stadium

Elections

Tell us your opinion about the first presidential debate