Mid-South church vandalized with racial slurs

Mid-South church vandalized with racial slurs

HUGHES, Ark. (WMC) - Police are investigating after a Mid-South church was vandalized this weekend.

The same church was destroyed by a fire last year.

VIDEO: Fire destroys church in Hughes, Arkansas

The mayor of Hughes, Arkansas, Lincoln Barnett, posted photos on Facebook Saturday that he said were taken inside St. Mary Baptist Church.

The photos show the walls of the church spray-painted with "Trump 2020" along with racial slurs.

"It is disheartening to know there are people committing such acts in the name of the U.S. President," Barnett wrote. "Such acts as these are cowardly, attention-seeking and birthed from ignorance, hatred, insecurities and low self-worth."

St. Mary leaders were in the process of rebuilding the church.

A fire destroyed the 92-year-old church last year, forcing church leaders to relocate services to the Hughes Community Center.

“We’re just asking for everybody to keep praying for us and keep praying with us and hopefully we won’t be long getting in,” Pastor Dedric Patterson told WMC Action News 5 after the fire last year.

Church members were getting closer to holding service for the first time in the remodeled building before the vandalism this weekend.

"This is likely to result in some negative press coverage of our city, but remember, no one knows the good of Hughes better than the people from Hughes and these few cowardly acts will never outweigh the good," said Barnett.

Barnett is now asking anyone with information to come forward and share what they know with police.

Barnett said they can call 870-339-2332 ext. 3 or 870-633-2611.

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