Vandals repeatedly target historic church

HOUSTON Pastor Jeffrey Latson would like to think of Bringhurst Street Good News Church as a cornerstone in the community.

"The church has been here 99 years," he said.

But right now he can only think of it as a target.

"It's an assault on God," declared Pastor Latson.

Instead of spending his Monday off, he spent it waiting for Houston police to report the latest act of vandalism here. Within seconds, someone did a lot of damage.

Pastor Latson pointed out, "One brick here and a brick right here hit the wall and it shattered the glass here."

Perhaps repairing three panes of glass wouldn't be so bad, but this is the third time vandals have struck this year. One window has still not been replaced after a BB gun attack in January. A cost of $600 a pane is not easy for a 40 member church to raise.

"It hurts to do God's house like that," said church member Gwendolyn Walker. "That's God's house, not our house. We just go in to hear the word of the lord."

Pastor Latson would like to say he's shocked, but he got over that emotion years ago after someone kicked in the back door and stole computers.

"We just said forget it," he recalled.

It's been boarded up ever since.

"When I leave here I just basically say a prayer and put it in God's hands and whatever happens, happens," Pastor Latson said.

He blames the vandalism on what's going on around them with drugs in the community. Over the years, he says, it's gotten worse. The church will continue its outreach but Pastor Latson says if its neighbors choose not to hear the message on Sundays, hear this one.

"I will forgive but I want it to stop," he said.

The church can't afford insurance, so the pastor is hopeful members will spare whatever they can to repair what was damaged. He's also hopeful the repairs will be completed by the first Sunday in May for the official celebration of their big 99th anniversary.

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