Vandals defaced a a predominantly African American church with a racial slur, while also defacing church member's grave sites.
Members of Mt. Bethel Missionary Baptist Church hope the community can rise above racism.
It's a place of worship, and sanctuary to those looking to find their way. That's why those who attend were shocked to see the profanity.
"I honestly don't know why someone would do such a thing," Chanelle Thompson, a church member said.
The church's cemetery was tagged as well. Headstones were blemished with the hateful word.
"I just think it's sad that we have to live in a world with so much hate," Thompson said.
Henry McVay, the church pastor, said it hurts that someone would write the profanity on a sacred church.
He said although the word is hurtful, it's not about the vandalism. He said it's about the message that comes from it.
"When you go through trials and tribulations, individually or as a group, that no matter what happens, you have to forgive, you have to love and forgive," Pastor McVay said.
Thompson explained how she thinks "we should all just come together as one, and racism shouldn't be an issue because we all bleed the same."
Pastor McVay said things like this don't happen in small town Oklahoma, but now that it has, it gives him the opportunity to teach.
"I believe that this is only a test, so as long as we don't have any hatred our spirit don't get kindled to dislike somebody, that we can still love the person no matter who it is," McVay said.
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