Bob Rogers wasn’t sure how to handle the situation.
On one hand, he didn’t want whoever was responsible to get the attention they may be seeking. But he also didn’t want to see any other churches, or his church, continue to be the victims of vandalism.
The First Baptist Church of Rincon, where Rogers is the pastor, filed a report with the Rincon Police Department after church members noticed their sign along Highway 21 had been vandalized. Rogers said the sign was tampered with Saturday night and Tuesday night.
It was clear then that it was vandalism, he said.
“Back before Christmas, we discovered one of the letters missing,” Rogers said.
“We thought one of the custodians had made a mistake in spelling.”
When the sign in front of the church congratulated Rogers on his 50th birthday, one of the “p” letters was taken.
Church members discovered that all the letters on one side of the sign were removed in the most recent incidents, with letters stacked on the brick ledge of the sign or thrown in the dirt. Some letters were broken Tuesday night.
“Then Sunday, we had all that happen, and there was no doubt” about the vandalism, Rogers said. “It was almost as if they were telling us, ‘Hey, it’s me again.’”
Ten letters were found broken. While the cost of the letters isn’t much, “it’s just the aggravation,” Rogers said.
He sent an e-mail to other Effingham County churches about what had happened at First Baptist of Rincon and found out that two other churches had been the target of vandals lately. Vandals have apparently written obscenities on another church in Rincon and rearranged the letters on a Springfield church sign to spell out a profanity.
Rogers doesn’t know what would compel someone to do that.
“My guess it’s either a thrill for them or a vindictiveness,” he said. “They could be antagonistic toward churches or just the thrill of doing something that will get a reaction.”
But First Baptist of Rincon is taking steps to try to prevent further acts upon their sign and is warning other area churches.
“I don’t want another church to be harmed,” Rogers said.