Riverview church hit by vandals, symbols, graffiti spray-painted

RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) – Tucked back off Big Bend Road in Riverview, the Christ The King Lutheran Church has about 130 members. 

Pastor Kevin Yoakum and his young daughter arrived Wednesday morning to discover several swastikas, upside-down crosses and pentagrams scrawled on two sides of the church.

References to the Columbine massacre and other senseless graffiti were found in the parking lot.

“You can see some of the things here, but some of the other things were very explicit. Words about God. Words about Jesus. And it hurts. Hurts when someone’s touching your faith,” said Pastor Yoakum.

The pastor is finding it hard to fathom why someone would attack a place where people come to seek guidance in their lives.

“I don’t know how it would make them feel better to make everybody else look worse by them doing this,” he said.

The spray can-wielding trespassers also hit a nearby shed with more symbols and the phrase “Satan was here.”

Pastor Yoakum wants to see them face the consequences.

“I really hope that they can really kind of face up to whatever is going on in their mind,” he said.

Church members tried to clean up some of the mess.

“Everybody’s been more than happy to say, ‘I can bring a bucket of paint, just tell me what to do and when.’ So, I was very thankful to hear,” said the pastor.

A Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy, investigating the vandalism, told the pastor, the county has a “rapid response team” that will be out in the morning to clean up the spray paint. That will happen at no charge to the church.

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