BUFORD, Ga. - Gwinnett County Police are searching for vandals who painted and damaged the marquis of a Buford church. The pastor at the Bible Holiness Church, Pastor Bobby Wright, said he is a believer in scripture, pointing to Leviticus, Genesis and other passages as biblical guidelines he posted outside the church about three weeks ago.
The sign read, “God created male and female, Satan created gays and transgender.” Pastor Wright said the words were easy to come by.
“It's not something I brainstormed and did; it's something that god spoke to me in my spirit,” said Pastor Wright.
Police are now searching for the vandals who painted over the pastor’s message and disturbed the letters. The pastor said the Buford church he has led for two decades is rooted in the bible, even reaching into his own family.
“I had a homosexual son. I know the power of god and I prayed for my son and god broke that demonic spirit. My son is married now, he has two children,” said Pastor Wright.
At St. Mark United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Reverend Josh Noblitt reflected on the Buford church and the damaged sign.
“The greatest commandment as Jesus tells us is to love the Lord, God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and the second is just like the first and that is to love your neighbor as yourself,” said Reverend Josh Noblitt.
The reverend is gay and is also a sex therapist. He said at St. Mark, it's important for parishioners to come as they are. Noblitt said in his practice a common source of conflict is confusion between sexuality and religion.
“And if there isn't any support, people commit suicides over this kind of thing so we really are talking about lives being at stake,” said Reverend Noblitt.
He acknowledged the Buford pastor's right to exercise his constitutional freedoms. But after the worst mass murder in modern U.S. history at an Orlando gay bar, he asked ‘at what cost?’
“Are we exercising them in a way that maximizes freedom for all people or are we exercising our rights in a way that is harmful to others,” said Reverend Noblitt.
When asked why he didn't take down the sign after the Orlando massacre, he responded this way, “And compromise the gospel? We didn't stop the war in Vietnam because two died,” said Pastor Wright.
Anyone with information on who damaged the sign is asked to contact the Gwinnett County Police Department.
Pastor Wright said he plans to put the sign back up soon.