100-year-old church ‘completely destroyed’ in Burke County

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 1:26 PM EDT|Updated: May. 30, 2023 at 3:20 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A local church is recovering after being “completely torn to pieces,” according to the pastor of Blount Hill Baptist Church.

The Rev. Louis Williams says a technician caught the vandals in action. Williams says they ran toward the woods Friday when the technician called the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.

The agency confirms three juveniles were arrested and charged with burglary in the second burglary and criminal damage in the second degree.

Officials say the damages are over $500.

Williams says the church is over 100 years old, and he’s been the pastor since 1995. They have a congregation of 20 members.

“We only have 20 to 25 members. We don’t have any money to fix the damages,” he said.

Photos show air-conditioning units torn from the windows and holes in the walls, doors, and ceiling. The chairs were kicked over, and you can see the sky from part of the ceiling being knocked out.

“I’ve been here 30 years and I never had no trouble all my life,” said Williams.


“When I got in here looking at the chairs. Lord have mercy. The devil is wide awake. Devil like a roaring lion,” said Williams. “They broke ceiling fans. I got a hole in the roof, broke the commode down, tore up my PA system, messed up the pulpit.”

According to the pastor, the doors were also knocked off the hinges.

“The church is completely destroyed. We need help,” said Williams. “It’s completely torn to pieces.”

While he’s left to pick up the pieces, he says it won’t keep them from Sunday service.

Officials say the church has been actively serving the community.

“I ain’t going to let nothing separate me from the love of God. I am hoping he’s going to change things. Nobody said it was going to be easy. We’ll have some ups; you have them down. You have trials and will have tribulation, but you got to hold on to God on changing,” said Williams.