MAHONING TOWNSHIP — One week ago members of the Ebenezer Evangelical Congregational Church in Jim Thorpe were disappointed and frustrated when they looked at a billboard they put up. The image of Jesus was targeted by vandals. Police say seven times in the past three months the figure has been disfigured, mostly with spray paint.
Pastor Nathanael Kennedy has a message for those responsible.
“We’re not angry with you. We’re frustrated by what’s been done and we believe that God’s in control and God’s going to bring good from this difficult situation and come forward and bring this to a close,” Pastor Kennedy said.
The church borrowed a security camera to monitor the sign along Route 209 in Mahoning Township. It took a poor quality picture during the day, so you can imagine the quality at night, when the vandals strike.
Church officials are talking about getting a better camera, but that could cost hundreds of dollars.
John Cherb lives just down the street from the church. Cherb said he can’t imagine why anyone would do something so senseless.
“It’s just strange that someone would want to pick on this small congregation and keep destroying it. It just blows your mind really.”
Each time the sign is cleaned, it loses some of its luster. Pastor Kennedy hopes the vandals stay away; otherwise the church may have to replace it.
“It’s not cheap, each sign would cost about $200. (It) depends, we would have to talk to the person who developed our sign and helped us with it, and they’ve given us a good deal.”
Those who run the church hope that someone knows something about the vandalism and asking that person to call Mahoning Township Police at (570) 386-2241.