ATLANTA - A Metro church has a Christmas message for the vandals who spray-painted their church: "God loves you."
Members of Cosmopolitan A.M.E. Church, covered in holiday decor, discovered the graffiti as they arrived for church the previous Sunday. Atlanta Police are searching for the culprits.
The congregation held a prayer for the vandals.
"Something like this has never happened,"said Reverend Dr. Debora Grant. "We hope that people will respect the sacred ground," Rev. Grant said.
Cosmopolitan A.M.E. Church has been in the Vine City community for 147 years, and ministers to neighbors and youth in the area.
Though members said the sight of the damage was disheartening, they believe the ordeal is a "blessing" to urge the church to help youth in the community, including the vandals.
"It was not devastating. It was motivating... Every now and then the church needs to be shaken up," Rev. Grant said.
"God loves you. We do," she said, and invites the vandals to come worship at the church.
Church members tried to clean up the damage, to no avail; there is no word on the cost to professionally remove the graffiti from the historical property.