Wilkes-Barre church vandalized, American flag desecrated

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A Wilkes-Barre church was struck by vandals Monday in broad daylight. They say it happened sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

The pastor at Parsons Primitive Methodist Church on Austin Avenue showed Eyewitness News the damage. Several fire extinguishers were discharged throughout the building, someone defecated on the women’s bathroom floor and on a chair in the fellowship hall/Sunday school area and smeared feces on an American flag.

“There was dust everywhere, and then we found defecation on the floor, and the American flag, was wiped up with that,” said pastor Andy Jerome.

Human feces smeared on an American flag… Some was left on a chair. A bible ripped into shreds. Almost the entire inside of this church vandalized.

“Honesty the first thing on my mind was, why would somebody do this in a church,” said Jerome.

The destruction was discovered Monday night throughout Parsons Primitive Methodist Church on Austin Avenue in Wilkes-Barre.

“I was heartbroken, to think that something like this can happen. You hear it all over the world but to hear it so close to home it’s tough,” said Sunday school superintendent Sharon Turnbaugh.

Several fire extinguishers were discharged throughout the building. A soundboard stolen from the sanctuary. But parishioners say they find strength in hard times.

“They haven’t accomplished a positive mission here. Again this is just a building,” said David Berry, a station steward.

Pastor Andy Jerome wants the community to know he appreciates the tremendous support they have already received.

“The outpouring of support has been overwhelming for us so that’s actually been a positive thing,” Jerome said.

While a police report has been filed, the church is taking the high road and will be making security upgrades.

“We’re stronger this isn’t going to change who we are as Christians in this church we are going to obviously upgrade our security systems here now because of this, but we’re going to move forward'” Berry told us.

“We just want justice to be served and that we do forgive them,” Turnbaugh said.

Anyone with information or security footage is asked to contact Wilkes-Barre police. 

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