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North Raleigh church worships again after vandalism attack

December 24, 2018
A Raleigh church is picking up the broken pieces after someone broke in and ransacked the place.

A north Raleigh church that was the target of vandals opened its doors Sunday morning in order to worship and hold its annual Christmas celebration despite the damage done at the sanctuary.

Raleigh police are on the hunt for the person responsible for destroying musical instruments and breaking the glass at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, located at 7506 Falls of Neuse Road. The church does not have security cameras but officials are rethinking that decision.

The church members discovered the damage sometime Friday.

On Sunday, the pastor and congregation showed that they are resilient.

“It was a shock,” said Tom Harris, senior pastor at the church. “It took our peace from us in many ways as we gathered together and we cried and we prayed. There was a sense of loss.”

Members say they are determined to restore that sense of peace that was snatched away.

“It was the immediate innate response that we wanted to be here to help the church heal as quickly as we could,” church member Nelle Hotchkins said.

Members of the church have pitched in to clean up as the church looks to recover from the incident.

“Sometimes, God’s peace comes and all we need to do is look for it,” Harris said. “Even in the middle of broken glass and upside down tables.”

And, by taking that closer look, this congregation has made a fresh start just in time for Christmas.

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