An act of kindness washes away hate from vandalized church

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Saturday, November 23, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- One week after the Unitarian Universalist Church of Augusta was vandalized with spray paint, an act of kindness is washing away the hate.

"This didn't just affect our church," said Dr. Andy Reese, President of the congregation. "It affected the community."

A community left in disbelief by the hateful message sprayed on the church.

"People in Augusta were shocked," Dr. Reese said. "They didn't believe this was the kind of thing that would happen in their community."

The church posted photos of the vandalism to Facebook. The post gained international attention.

"We've gotten a couple of emails from England and one even from Australia," said Dr. Reese.

It also caught the eyes of Daniel Sikes and Daniel Meals, two power washers who wanted to help.

"[The vandalism] was done in the name of Christianity, and that's not what Christianity is about," said Sikes. "This is a church. It may not be the church that everyone goes to, but it's still not okay for a Christian to say they did this in God's name."

The hours of work were all done for free.

"It's horrible," said Meals. "These people, this is their place of worship, and somebody came and did this. It's just not right."

The church originally planned to keep the graffiti up through Sunday service, but changed their minds because of the children that come to the church. Their mission, though, remains: educate and have conversations about anti-Semitism.

"Religion is based on love," said Dr. Reese. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Little by little, that love washed the hate away.

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