SPARTA, Tenn. — Congregants of a Sparta church arrived yesterday morning to find that vandals had shattered church windows and spray-painted threatening and Satanic messages on the walls, police say.
Kip Simar, pastor of First Apostolic Church in Sparta, said he arrived at the church and found broken glass scattered on the floor and "Satan is my God" and "Kill Jesus" and other spray-painted messages, including some that threatened him and his family.
"It took me by shock when I came here this morning," said Simar, adding that he doesn't know who may have committed the acts.
"We think it happened sometime between 10:30 last night and 6 this morning because I was at church until around 10:15 last night."
Simar said a neighbor across the street from the church said she saw its front doors open around 6 a.m. Sunday.
Sparta police said they are investigating the incident.
The church's members, which number around 30, conducted their service yesterday morning despite the vandalism.
In July, fires burned two black churches in this small town about 75 miles east of Nashville.