Young vandals target Morgan County church

Vandals wreaked havoc inside a church in Morgan County, causing $10,000 worth of damage with paint and graffiti.

"My wife that day, she just sat there and cried," said Pastor Garfield Chambers. "It hurt, not just me, a lot of people in the church and my family," he said.

The suspects, identified as juveniles 10 to 14 years old, allegedly spray-painted phrases such as "Cult," "You are going to Hell," vulgarity and other offensive images inside and outside the Madison House of Refuge Church.

Spray paint and other types of paint covered the floorboards, walls, bathroom, altar robes, attic and pastor's office, as well as the outside of the building.

Chambers said a contractor quoted him $10,000 for cleanup of the extensive damage.

Sheriff Robert Markley of Morgan County said the children also rearranged the signs of two other nearby churches to spell out vulgar sayings, and broke into a skating rink and started a fire in the sink.

The children also allegedly spray-painted street signs belonging to the county.

The children face various charges, including burglary, vandalism of a place of worship, and criminal damage to government property.

Chambers said two of the children attend his church with their families. At least one child has been forced to return to start scrubbing away vulgar graffiti.

"The other children, I don't know. I don't want the other children to think of church as a bad place to come and we're the bad guys," Chamber said.

The church will hold services in the cafeteria until the damage is cleaned up. The community is starting to raise funds to clean up the damage: