DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Dayton church has been vandalized again. Lower Miami Church of the Brethren has been vandalized in the past, but this time the message referenced women’s rights.
The vandalism was a Bible quote in spray paint that says 1 Timothy 2:12, and church leaders say they want to have a conversation with the community about this message.
“We’ve had a history of being a target because we are visible with our signage, we are visibly open. We have a rainbow flag that has been stolen before and ripped off. We have had a Black Lives Matter sign taken down a very specific scripture being spray painted,” Tracy Kenchelsturgis, Pastor Lower Miami Church of the Brethren said.
According to the new international version of the bible – this particular verse reads
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”
The church believes they’re being targeted because their pastor is a woman, but she says the message does not offend her, instead it makes her and her congregation eager to speak with the community about the topic.
Wednesday at 5 p.m., the church will be having a prayer service before they cover up the vandalism.
Although this instance is different than previous vandalism and can be negatively interpreted, they are deciding to take a more positive approach.
“A very specific scripture being spray painted. That was a new element that we wanted to think about. How can we best respond to this? How do we make this a positive experience? it was probably it could have been delivered in a judgmental way, but we chose to see it as how can this be a positive? and of course, in the future it would be nice if people would just talk directly to us instead of defacing property,” Pastor Kenchelsturgis said.
We reached out to several law enforcement agencies about how often vandalisms like this occur at churches across the area, but they were not available for comment.