Vandals break into multiple Midland churches

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MIDLAND, Tx. (KOSA) - Local pastors want the community to know about recent break-ins that have occurred at their churches.

The pastors have reported these break-ins to the Midland Police Department.

Tall City pastors tell CBS7 News that churches in East Midland are being targeted by vandals.

Pastor Billy Ashley has been serving the Midland community for the past 33 years at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.

He said his church along with four others in the area have been ransacked.

"This is one of the safest communities in Midland. Granted there is some problems but nothing of this magnitude. My secondary reaction was how unbelievable, how utter disdain that someone would break into the house of God,” said Pastor Ashley.

Pastor Ashley said Bethel Missionary Baptist Church was victim to a vandal late Saturday night and the suspect was caught on camera.

Pastor Barak Stanford, with Lighthouse Pentecostal Church, believes this could be gang-related since nothing appears to be stolen at any of the churches - just destroyed.

"Kicked my door into my office, ransack the office area and left the lights on in the Sanctuary. Open the doors and left them unlocked and left. As if to try to show me you are trying to keep me out, but I got in,” said Pastor Stanford.

The other pastors whose churches have been ransacked agree with this theory.

Pastor Stanford's church was broken into twice in the past week. He thanks God that the damage was not more extensive.

Pastor Dennis Hodge said everyone in this neighborhood typically looks out for each other. So, when he was shocked about the devastation left at his church, Mount Moriah Disciples of Christ.

Although, Pastor Hodge said he is praying for the suspect and has already found it in his heart to excuse this behavior.

"To the person that did this to the church, I would say I have already forgiven you. I know that there is something deeper than it may have seen,” said Pastor Hodge.

The pastors have reported these break-ins to the Midland Police Department.

CBS7 News has reached out to MPD and will update this story as we learn more.