SPIRO (KFSM)- One of the pastors at Mount Triumph Baptist Church, a small, predominately African-American church in Spiro, believes his church was targeted by vandals over the weekend.
Pastor Wesley Hooks said late Sunday evening (July 5) the church's sign on Highway 271 fell down. He initially thought the wind blew it down, but after taking a second look he said the circumstances seemed suspicious.
“I came out yesterday to look at it myself, and that's when I discovered there were tire tracks, the pole was down on the ground, the sign is damaged,” Hooks said.
Hooks said the church does not know who could have vandalized the sign, while another church sign across the street was untouched.
“I don't want to speculate, but what it looks like is that someone hooked up to it with a chain and pulled it down deliberately,” Hooks said.
He said he does not want to assume the vandalism had to do with race.
“I don't want to say yes, don't want to say no, don't want to discount it at the same time, but there could be a correlation to what's going on in the country and our church being targeted,” Hooks said.
For now, Pastor Hooks said he has a plan to move the congregation past this.
“We have to love in spite of, and not only that the church has to move forward and not let one incident dictate the ministry.” Hooks said.
He also has a plan for the sign.
“We're going to put the sign back up. If they knock it down again, we'll put it back up again," he said. "We're not going to allow people dictate what we do. They knock it down, we'll pick it back up."
The church plans to replace the sign once the ground dries out from all the rain.
The LeFlore County Sheriff's Office said the case is under investigation.