Vandalized Hammond Church Holds Services Sunday - NBC Chicago

Vandalized Hammond Church Holds Services Sunday

“The devastation was really hard, but restoration came,” said Pastor Alfred Windom

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    Vandalized Hammond Church Holds Services Sunday

    Sunday services brought smiles and relief to the members of Faith United Church of Christ in Hammond after days of cleaning up a mess left behind by vandals. NBC 5's Chris Coffey reports.

    (Published Sunday, June 2, 2019)

    Sunday services brought smiles and relief to the members of Faith United Church of Christ in Hammond Indiana, after days of cleaning up a mess left behind by vandals.

    “It’s marvelous," said Janice Barney, a church council member. "Look at the miracle here today."

    A second congregation, Rehoboth Worship Center, also uses the church for its Sunday services.  Its pastor said both congregations worked together to make sure services were held Sunday.

    “The devastation was really hard, but restoration came,” said Pastor Alfred Windom.  “We feel like the enemy won’t get the glory. God will get the glory out of this.”

    Early Wednesday, vandals broke-in through the church’s back door and wrote satanic messages, damaged bathrooms, broke a display case, trashed an office and flipped over the church’s pipe organ.

    According to the church members, the organ lost a lot of its quality sound and replacement parts may no longer be made for the decades-old instrument.  The church organist is now performing music solely on a piano that luckily, was not damaged.

    The Hammond Police Department has since arrested Aaron James Vanoppens, 23, and Nicholas Dylan Reding, 22.  Both have been charged with one count each of burglary and institutional criminal mischief. The two charges are felonies in Indiana.

    Moreover, donors provided new bathroom equipment to the church, according to the members.

    Security camera footage from inside the church was available as evidence.

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