Sheriff's office investigating church vandalism - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Sheriff's office investigating church vandalism

(Source: Willow Grove Baptist Church) (Source: Willow Grove Baptist Church)
SPEEGLEVILLE, TX (KXXV) -

The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the burglary and vandalism of Willow Grove Baptist Church in Speegleville.

Willow Grove Baptist Church has a long history in the Speegleville area.

"It was started by former slaves from Mississippi and they were looking for an area to settle down," Pastor Kenneth McNeil said.

Pastor Kenneth McNeil said he noticed a lock from the door on the ground next to the side door of the church on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 9.

“It’s a day I’ll never forget,” McNeil said.

McNeil said he cautiously went into the church building to find stains on the carpet and the office ransacked. He called 911 once he saw that.

He walked over to the fellowship hall next door and noticed a broken window.

"As I come up on [the building], I see broken glass. So I come up to this window and notice it had been broken out," McNeil said. 

When he walked in the building, he said it smelled awful. As he turned the corner, he found the words "Satan," “Trump,” and a swastika written on the fellowship hall floor.

"It was at that point that I realized okay this is something different," McNeil said. 

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office arrived and started dusting for fingerprints and investigating the incident.

The predominantly African-American church has about 30 members including Marshall Green, who grew up going to the church with his family. He said he was shocked by the vandalism.

"This church has been here for 147 years. I was born and raised out here and nothing like this has ever happened in this community," Green said.

Over one hundred people gathered on Monday to help the church clean up the mess.

"What the enemy meant for evil, God has turned it in to good," McNeil said.

McNeil and Green said they would like to see the individuals who committed the crime to come forward.

"There's not hate, there's not animosity. There's love and forgiveness here," McNeil said.

"We'll talk with them. We won't be disrespectful to them," Green said.

McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said they are investigating the incident as destruction of property and burglary of building.

“We are taking this very seriously,” McNamara said. “We’re not going to let up. This type of activity will not be tolerated.”

The Sheriff’s office has contacted the FBI and the FBI said they will assist them in the investigation if that’s needed.

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Dem, GOP leaders get classified briefings on Russia probe

    Dem, GOP leaders get classified briefings on Russia probe

    Thursday, May 24 2018 12:42 AM EDT2018-05-24 04:42:28 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:13 PM EDT2018-05-24 21:13:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin). In this May 23, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Two House lawmakers who are allies of President Donald Tr...(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin). In this May 23, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding the Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Two House lawmakers who are allies of President Donald Tr...

    A briefing Thursday about classified documents will be for just two Republican House members, both Trump allies, as Trump and his supporters in Congress press for information on the outside informant.

    More >>

    A briefing Thursday about classified documents will be for just two Republican House members, both Trump allies, as Trump and his supporters in Congress press for information on the outside informant.

    More >>
  • Trump awards Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL in Afghan assault

    Trump awards Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL in Afghan assault

    Thursday, May 24 2018 3:12 PM EDT2018-05-24 19:12:14 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:05 PM EDT2018-05-24 21:05:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). President Donald Trump stands with Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Britt K. Slabinski during a ceremony to award him the Medal of Honor in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Slabinski o...(AP Photo/Susan Walsh). President Donald Trump stands with Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Britt K. Slabinski during a ceremony to award him the Medal of Honor in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Slabinski o...
    President Donald Trump has awarded the Medal of Honor to a Navy SEAL who oversaw a daring assault and rescue mission on a snowy Afghanistan mountaintop in 2002.More >>
    President Donald Trump has awarded the Medal of Honor to a Navy SEAL who oversaw a daring assault and rescue mission on a snowy Afghanistan mountaintop in 2002.More >>
  • Probe: Missile that downed MH17 came from Russia-based unit

    Probe: Missile that downed MH17 came from Russia-based unit

    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:32 AM EDT2018-05-24 09:32:04 GMT
    Thursday, May 24 2018 5:04 PM EDT2018-05-24 21:04:54 GMT
    The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)The passenger jet was headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was was blown out of the sky over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. (Source: CNN)

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based...

    More >>

    An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly