KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City church says they’ve been targeted before, but this time may be the worst yet.
The incident happened Dec. 20 when someone threw a “flaming object” inside the church along with hateful messages. Days later, more than a dozen windows were broken.
This is the fourth time someone has targeted the South-Broadland Presbyterian Church in South Kansas City since October.
They believe it’s all because they are speaking out about racial and social justice.
“It seems like it is never ending,” Pastor Nicole Richardson said. “It’s not just an accident. It’s not just a coincidence. I was concerned when first round of windows were shattered. I was concerned things would escalate.”
Thankfully, the fire didn’t spread, but once again, more windows were broken.
FOX4 first reported on the vandalism, including 15 broken windows and a ripped Black Lives Matter banner, back in November.
“This is a very safe and secure neighborhood. We have great neighbors on both sides of us, so this is very surprising when these things started happening,” said Deena Smith, a member for 30 years and Rainbow School director.
Smith said her family helped plant the multi-cultural congregation in the predominately white church. She said she’s proud members are speaking out about what they believe is important.
Members like Smith said they will not let incidents like this stop them from continuing their message of social and racial justice, no matter how uncomfortable people may be.
“Taking the banner down does not support the persons of color who does not have that option. It’s a level of white privilege we could choose if we want to, but we don’t think that’s the right thing to do,” Smith said.
“I think we can be considered an easy target. Right now we don’t have any deterrence. But we are working on putting up deterrence. We raised money to install 11 security cameras around as well as window shatter alarms,” Richardson said.
Richardson said she’s thankful for outpouring of support. Close to $10,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe account to help with extra security measures.
Richardson is asking the community to keep eyes on the property and come forward if you know anything about these crimes.
“Until we are able to find who has done this, we are at a loss why this is really happening. What’s in the mind of a person that would do this,” she said.