Community steps up to help vandalized church in Whitley County

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WHITLEY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Nearly a week ago vandals damaged a southern Kentucky church breaking windows and doors. Church members were upset, but now the community has helped them turn that setback into something positive.

The vandals caused some expensive damage at Oak Ridge Church of God in Whitley County. The church has now received enough donations to pay for repairs.

Up a long and windy road is where you'll find Oak Ridge Church of God just outside Williamsburg. Not many people even know the church exists.

"In this community if anything happens, everybody knows about it," said Pastor Dorman Patrick of Oak Ridge Church of God.

So the recent vandalism here at Oak Ridge Church of God is puzzling to this pastor, considering they only have a handful of members and no enemies that they know of.

"If you don't do something about it, they're just going to take you over," said the pastor. "And I'm not going to put up with it. We don't have a real big congregation, but we've got people who care for one another."

Three windows and also the windows on the door to the sanctuary were all vandalized last week, leaving broken glass in and outside the church.

The vandals didn't get their hands on many of the windows, but the ones that they did break caused $1,000 worth of damage. Church members say they are lucky the community has stepped up and covered the costs.

"It's just unreal how people have really opened their hearts out to help," said the pastor.

But it's not the first time this pastor of 13 years has seen vandals target his church. This time he's hoping it's the last.

"Church is a place that people ought to honor and not defy," said the pastor. "It's a sacred place to me."

This pastor is still thankful for the close knit community of Canada Town. And they now have a little money left over to save.

"They're willing to turn loose to their finances to help a little country church," said the pastor. "It's wonderful."

State police are also investigating vandalized mailboxes in the same area.

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