Metro pastor wishes vandal would use his talent to spread love instead of hate

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Surveillance cameras rolled as a vandal spray-painted a satanic symbol onto the side of a Kansas City, Mo., church this weekend.

Security video shows a man with a spray can has come back to Wisdom Assembly on Colorado Avenue three times this month –each time he’s left his mark and once even paused to snap a picture of his finished work.

Pastor Cal Lawanson told FOX 4 in an exclusive interview that the trespasser took it a step further this past weekend by painting a big “666” on a wall facing the nearby highway.

“When I saw this Sunday morning when I came to church,” he said, pointing at the fresh paint job, “I just had to laugh. I had to laugh in the face of the devil. “

“It’s on the wall; it’s not on our hearts. We can clean this, but this is engraved in his own heart, so he needs somebody who can help him get it out.”

But Pastor Lawanson said painting “666” is “really, really taking it very far,” but he’s not angry about the property damage.

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“I just think that this guy has a gift,” he said of the vandal. “He’s talented, and he needs to redirect his talents to become more productive rather than destructive. God created us for love, why don’t you share the love?”

Prior to the satanic symbol, the man mostly painted the three letters “ACK” on the walls, doors and a car sitting in the parking lot.

“It’s probably his signature,” Pastor Lawanson guessed.

As for the picture the trespasser snapped, “I’m sure he’s probably going to post it on a website, maybe to brag and what have you, only God knows.”

Pastor Lawanson told FOX 4 he's staying positive and has encouraged his congregation to pray for the vandal.

“If I’m mad at him,” he said, “then I’m not going to be able to help him. He’s motivated by evil. He’s motivated by Satan and he needs God in his life, that’s just it. I want to see his life turn around for good.”

If you recognize the man in the surveillance video, call KCMO police or CrimeStoppers at (816) 474-TIPS.

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