Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chemical Attack Against Christian Church

*Persecution. It comes in many forms: spiritual battles targeted against the Church, against individual churches, and battles setup within our own personal lives.

Chemical attack strikes Dickinson church

GALVESTON — Last week, Mary Frank arrived early as she does every Sunday to open the Christian Fellowship Ministry Church in Dickinson. When she got there, she found someone had knocked off the front-door lock.

Frank, 60, the church secretary, stepped inside to find a chemical had been poured on the carpet from the front door to the pulpit, eating all the way through and into the concrete.

The chemical was poured over the 20 pews, cutting through wood and upholstery, and in the kitchen. The church's three guitars, two keyboards and amplifier were gone.

"I can't put it into words how I felt that day; it was so emotional," Frank said.

Dickinson police Detective Frank Price estimated the damage caused last Sunday at about $25,000.

The chemical still covers the church floor, said Assistant Pastor Eddie Glenn, who suspects it is some sort of acid.

"If you are in there for a period of time, you can feel it burning your eyes," he said.

Dickinson firefighters and police do not have the resources to test the chemical, so next week Glenn plans to ask the Houston Fire Department's hazardous materials team to find out what it is.

Glenn said the church may have to hire a contractor to remove the hazardous material.

The Rev. Noble Cooper Jr., who commutes from San Antonio to preach at the church, was one of the last to arrive on Sunday.

Inside the front door, he saw that a picture frame that had held a photo of him and his wife lay broken on the floor, the glass shattered. The photo was missing.

Glenn said that Cooper's name had been ripped from a sign in front of the church the previous summer.

Price declined to say whether investigators have any suspects.

The destruction is a big setback for Cooper and his tiny congregation, who took over the vacant church building two years ago.

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