Vandals Destroy Sapulpa Chapel

Monday, July 27th 2009, 11:09 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

SAPULPA, OK -- Vandals are on the loose after destroying the inside of an Oklahoma chapel.  The small congregation at Harvest Chapel Outreach in Sapulpa was forced to meet under a shade tree on Sunday after discovering the mess.  But, they say these are no ordinary vandals.  They believe they were encouraged by evil.

"A thousand may fall at your side and 10,000 at your right, but it will not come near you," said Harvest Chapel Outreach Pastor Carol Hoke.

Pastor Carol Hoke read scripture from a soaking wet bible and said her heart was drenched in sadness.

"It feels like somebody died. You know, it's just that heart-wrenching to me because of all that's here. There's been a lot of hard work and our hearts in it," said Harvest Chapel Outreach Pastor Carol Hoke.

Hoke and some of her tiny congregation are cleaning up after finding this mess on Sunday.  They believe the vandals who tore through their chapel must be mad at God.

"It looked like we had a little mini tornado in here. I mean, it was evident that things had been taken from one side of the room and thrown to the other side of the room and smashed against the wall," said Trisha Robinson.

The vandals tried to set the gas line on fire with a pile of matches.  They busted the toilet and scribbled anti-Christian symbols on doors and a prayer shawl.

"Any religious symbols, horns were drawn on it. There were some crucifixes laying on my desk and the legs and arms were broken off the figure of Jesus," said Harvest Chapel Outreach Pastor Carol Hoke.

Their piano was destroyed.  Their PA system, all their bibles and music and the clothes they offer to needy families were also torn apart.

On Monday, Pastor Hoke had to turn a family, looking for school clothes, away.

"That's hard to do because we know that times are hard right now for a lot of folks," said Harvest Chapel Outreach Pastor Carol Hoke.

But, even as they clean an unholy mess, worshipers are praying for the perpetrators.  They say God will forgive those who ask for forgiveness.

"I just hope that somehow good will come out of this.  Inevitably, good will come from bad," said Trisha Robinson.

The vandals only stole a small radio.  But, Sapulpa Police hope to lift fingerprints from a hammer they left behind.

The church is working to repair the damage.  Donations to the church can be sent to:

Harvest Chapel Outreach

1535 E Cobb Ave

Sapulpa OK 74066

You may also call 918-282-1224 and they'll pick up clothing or food.