Police are investigating two incidents of vandalism involving racism and hate-based imagery in Geneva. The most recent incident were two swastikas spray-painted on the building of Mt. Calvary Church.
Pastor Terrance Simmons of Mt. Calvary Church says a few kind volunteers did try to paint over them, but remnants of the racially motivated symbols are still visible.
"Someone tried to come over and paint over it to cover it, but just like racism, it bled through the paint,” said Simmons.
It appears that blue or black spray paint was used to create the swastikas. Mt. Calvary Church has been a place of worship in Geneva for 74 years, and Pastor Simmons says his church never experienced anything of this nature before. He did file a complaint with the Geneva Police Department and plans to heighten security measures to protect his congregation.
“Their intent was to threaten, but I don’t feel threatened, and come Sunday we’ll be back there for service,” said Simmons. "We have people who are older who may have lived this one time before. To have them have to relive it again and then to have young people, who never experienced this type of stuff, now have to live it for themselves. So now security, of course cameras, different things like that will have to come into play."
Geneva police are still investigating who should be held responsible for the vandalism. The pastor says his doors will still be open, believing that love trumps hate.
"We are in a place that we are praying that God will touch the person's heart,” said Simmons. “Our place is not to hate the person for what they've done but to love them in spite of what they've done.”