Pastor, Member Respond After Vandal Paints Racial Slur On OKC Church Building

Wednesday, June 15th 2016, 2:24 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Last Thursday, June 9, someone wrote something very vile and racist on the side of the New Bethel Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. But folks at the church say what's on the wall isn't important. It's what goes on inside the walls that matters.

Katrinia Nelson works with the church. She admits the first time she saw the graffiti, it made her sick. 

"It made my stomach hurt. I mean, I was just really saddened that someone would actually target any church,” said Nelson.

But in this community, this isn't just any church. It's a safe place that offers low income residents help paying their bills or feeding their families. It's a place where children are welcome all summer long to improve their reading, writing and math skills. It's a place where children are given healthy breakfasts and lunches; often the only meals they'll have all day.

"We’re teaching them life skills as well as studying skills and testing skills. And that's some of the things that our children need,” said Nelson.

They're also using this vandalism as a lesson in love. 

"Just because you're seeing others doing things that they shouldn't do, we want you to the right thing. We want you to make good choices. We want you to say nice things and do nice things,” continued Nelson.

Pastor James Greenwood said he forgives the person who did this. 

"They're still a child of God. And the act was not an act of the human being but it was spiritual. It's a spiritual one,” said Pastor Greenwood. “And we forgive them for that. We would like to pray for them.”

In fact, Pastor Greenwood would like to sit down and talk with the vandal. He has some questions.

"What is it that you want to say that will help you not do this to another church or what is that inside you that is raging?" Greenwood asked. "What happened that made you that angry that made you want to write on the Lord's house?"