South Congaree, SC (Paul Kirby) – A church that is just outside of South Congaree is trying to quickly make repairs so that they can still have services in their building again on Sunday, March 3, 2019. New Hope Church, which is located off Edmund Highway on Princeton Road, was recently the target of vandals that seemed to be so angry at something that they did thousands of dollars’ worth of senseless damage to the building’s interior. The damage to the building was so severe that it would be difficult for them to even use the facility this week without extensive work the congregants have been trying to do themselves. According to Brooks Harper, the church’s current spiritual leader, this is the third time that the congregation has suffered through this in the past 12 months. In the three separate instances, this is the first time the vandals have gained access to the inside of the building.
Harper said that the church draws about 80 people to worship each week. They moved as a congregation to this location in June of 2017. He said it appeared as if whoever did this must have serious pent up anger that has been growing for some time. He said he wondered if their church just happens to be in the vandals’ path, or if they’ve decided to target the church for some reason. He just can’t imagine what would make anyone do something like this.
Whether someone acted alone, or this was a group, during this attack on the inside of the building the perpetrators worked hard to do the amount of damage they did. The vandals smashed toilets, knocked holes in walls, destroyed doors, and even attacked the pulpit, heavily damaging it. They also broke the microphone attached to the sound system and damaged a piano to the point that it might not be repairable. In all, there is thousands of dollars in damages.
Harper said in an interview Saturday, “It is very disappointing that someone would do this to a church. There was a tremendous amount of damage to the inside. We are working diligently to make repairs to get ready for Sunday. It is interesting how God uses things like this to bring people together to get His work done. Our goal is to be a light in this community.”
All the incidents are being investigated by the Sheriff’s Department. If you know anyone who may have been involved or may have information about who was, please contact CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-888-CRIME SC. You can also make tips through their website at midlandscrimestoppers.com or download CRIMESTOPPERS P-3 app. If you would like to assist the small congregation in some way, contact Brooks Harper through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/brooks.harper.