North Delta’s Crossroads United Church. (James Smith photo)

B.C. church defaced with disturbing anti-Christian graffiti

Staff at Crossroads United Church reported the vandalism to police late last week

Delta Police are investigating after a local church was vandalized with anti-Christian graffiti.

Maintenance chair Bryan Hodgins discovered the disturbing message scrawled on the side of Crossroads United Church on the morning of Nov. 10. Hodgins immediately contacted police and took pictures of the graffiti that read “Kill All Christans (sic) — god is not real.”

“It’s very disturbing, especially for a lot of our older parishioners who have to walk by this thing to get into the church,” Hodgins said. “In light of things like [the shooting in] Texas this last week, you hope it’s a harmless prank but who knows?”

On Nov. 5 a 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and injuring 20 others.

“I think the concern here is just given what kind of events are happening in the world these days, particularly the actual shooting in Texas of people in a church, that kind of hate speech — it’s hate speech, there’s no other word for it — is particularly concerning,” said Rev. Cari Copeman-Haynes, lead minister at Crossroads United Church.

“You think about all the good this congregation is doing in the community … it’s a pretty stark response to what we consider a positive presence for people who are struggling in our community.”

The incident was the second time in a week that the church had been vandalized, with both incidents occurring on the exact same patch of the sanctuary’s curved wall. However, Copeman-Haynes said, the previous incident was a smaller, more generic tagging.

“Even though we were trying valiantly to get it off of the concrete wall, it provided enough of an invitation to whoever this person was to really expand both the square footage and take the message in a way more malevolent direction,” she said.

Copeman-Haynes has been a minister at Crossroads for nine years, and six before that when the congregation was known as St. John’s-Strawberry Hill, and said she’s never seen vandalism of this nature that at the church.

“I think there may have been more of the tagging kind of graffiti in that earlier era. Since we’ve been Crossroads there’s been nothing like that at all until this moment,” she said. “It’s indicative of the kind of polarization and intolerance and anxiety, for want of a better word, just generalized anxiety and blame that is kind of the public conversation.”

Delta Police public affairs coordinator Sharlene Brooks said in an email that the vandalism at Crossroads appears to be an isolated incident, adding she couldn’t recall anything of a similar nature occurring in the recent past. Brooks said police have yet to identify any suspects but are monitoring to see if similar incidents occur elsewhere.

The paint used is sticking rather tenaciously to the raw concrete wall and Hodgins said he’s having a hard time removing the graffiti. On top of that, tape and the like don’t stay on the wall long, making it impossible to temporarily cover up the offending message.

Hodgins is waiting for an assessment from a professional graffiti removal company, but failing that the only remedy would be to paint over that part of the wall. Regardless, he said, getting rid of the graffiti will likely end up costing the church thousands of dollars.

“Putting it in real terms it’s probably going to cost several of our community dinners — not that we’d cancel the community dinners, but the cost will be equivalent to putting on at least one or two of them,” he said. “It’s not a harmless prank; there are victims.”



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

While Revelstoke has one of the oldest bear awareness societies in the province, the city has yet to implement a community wide bear-proof garbage system. (Submitted)
Saving bears: Revelstoke’s garbage dilemma

More than 400 bears have been killed in the city since 1986

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal). The polls are closed and ballots being counted. (File photo)
BC VOTES: Clovechok preliminary winner with 52 per cent of the vote

35 of 77 polls have reported and The Canadian Press is calling Clovechok winner

Firefighters and RCMP are on scene at a fire on Douglas Street. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
PHOTOS: Firefighters battling blaze on Douglas Street

RCMP are also on scene and blocking off access to the street

The Columbia River Revelstoke riding saw three candidates, Nicole Cherlet for the NDP, Samson Boyer for the Green Party and Doug Clovechok, incumbent, for the BC Liberals. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
UPDATE: Polls now closed in 2020 provincial election

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Kelowna Secondary School. (SD23 photo)
One case of COVID-19 identified at Kelowna Secondary School

Interior Health will follow up directly with those who may have been exposed to the virus

BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu offered praise to her team of volunteers (pictured Oct. 21), following a too-close race with BC Liberal and incumbent Eric Foster in the 2020 provincial election Oct. 24. The outcome will be dependent on the final count from mail-in ballots expected in three weeks. (Facebook)
‘Every vote counts’ in tight Vernon-Monashee race: NDP Harwinder Sandhu

Incumbent BC Liberal Eric Foster finishes election night with slim lead

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO)
UPDATE: One dead after Highway 97A crash near Armstrong, police watchdog investigating

The crash happened as RCMP attempted to stop an alleged stolen vehicle

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Most Read