DELANO, Calif. (KGET) — The Delano Police Department is asking for the community’s help after the New Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church was vandalized over the weekend.
The vandals spray-painted derogatory and racist remarks all over the church and items on the property were damaged. Reverend Bill Hence shares that nothing like this has happened in the 83 years the church has been here.
“We’re just trying to figure out what’s going on? Why is this guy picking this church? And why does he keep coming back, every time we clean it up, he comes back, so why does he keep coming back?” said Hence.
Black churches have historically been sources of strength, support and hope for African Americans. As a result, that has made the church a target for racists and hateful people. Hence claims the same person is targeting his church and it is time for this type of hate to stop.
“You can have the right to think what you want, believe what you want, but I don’t believe you have the right to bother other people that’s kind of where I am on this, and that’s where I think my church feels we’re not bothering anybody else, so don’t bother us,” said Hence.
Delano police are investigating the crime and are relying on the community for more information. However, Police Chief Tyson Davis shares that this is not what Delano is about.
“This is not activity that happens in Delano, we don’t have racism in Delano, this has never happened here before, so I don’t have a reason other than ignorance,” said Davis.
Yet, with the hateful attacks on the church, Hence remains unmoved.
“I don’t hate the person who did this, we’re taught to love even our enemies, but we still have to find out who did it and we still have to stop it,” said Hence.
The Delano Police Department asks that if you have any information regarding this vandalism case, please contact their Tip Line: 661-721-3369.