An East Texas church is recovering after being targeted by vandals.
According to the Van Zandt County Sheriff's department, a derogatory word was spray-painted on the New Hope Baptist Church in the Wynne Community of Canton late on November 26 or early on November 27.
Today, the New Hope Baptist Church is quiet, peaceful, and clean.
But early last Tuesday, it was anything but - because during the night, someone spray-painted the "B" word near the church's front door for all to see.
Trustee Ronald Wilson, who lives across the street from the church, was one of the first on the scene.
"It kind of stung a little bit, you know, because we thought everybody in the community was proud of us having a new church for the first time," said Wilson.
After calling authorities, it took Wilson and some of the other men in the church about 45 minutes to clean up the wall.
"We didn't have to paint over it or anything. It come right off, fresh as it was and everything. We got to it pretty quick," he said.
Authorities are still investigating who might have spray painted that word on this wall. But they say they believe they're looking for someone who's a juvenile or has a juvenile mentality.
"That's the normal case when you have something like this. Normally if an adult's going to do something, they're going to put something different on there," said Van Zandt County Sheriff Pat Burnett. "The word that they used is not something that an adult normally would write."
Church members say they aren't sure who vandalized their building, but they're keeping a close eye on the church and the neighborhood - and they want to offer forgiveness to the person who spray painted their church.
"I just pray that they would stop and would like to just invite them to come worship with us and maybe they can give their life to Christ and see that we here at the New Hope Church are a loving church family," said the church's pastor, Steven Bell.
The Van Zandt County Sheriff's office asks for the public's help to find a suspect so that there aren't future incidents like this one.
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