AUSTIN, Texas - A North Austin church was vandalized just hours before their Christmas Eve service.
Nearly all the stained glass at Our Savior Lutheran Church off E. Yager Lane was bashed in on Friday morning. Shards of broken glass were littered on the outside and inside the church.
"We’ve been around for 20 years and never had this happen before," said Pastor Eric Borchers.
Pastor Borchers was unsure why someone would do this to a church during the Christmas season. "I don’t think he was in his right mind, I’ve been angry enough in my own life to want to break something but never to this extent," he said.
The incident happened around 6 a.m. Security video shows the suspect appear to use some sort of sign attached to a metal pole and use it like a battering ram, and even can be heard whistling as he walks away.
The church has estimated the damage to be more than $100,000.
However, the vandalism wasn’t enough to dampen the holiday spirits of this church. Once word got out dozens of members arrived to help pick up the pieces and spent Christmas Eve sweeping up the shards of broken glass, vacuuming the debris off the pews, and boarding up the damaged windows. It was a big group effort as the church still wanted to hold service in the evening.
Pastor Borchers even worked the event into his holiday sermon. "My message for tonight is how we live in a world in complete chaos and something like this isn’t going to stop a church service it’s not going to stop the motion of the church in the word," he said.
As for the suspect Borchers said he’s already chosen to forgiven them and is hopeful they’ll do the right thing. "It is what it is, and I hope he is ok and I hope he is safe."
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