Church vandalized in weekend incident

Broken glass is shown after the someone vandalized the front doors of the St. Paul A.M.E. Church recently. [Submitted]

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Posted August 12, 2021 | By Jennifer Hunt Murty,

Broken glass is shown after someone vandalized the front doors of the St. Paul A.M.E. Church recently. [Submitted]

The glass front doors of the St. Paul A.M.E. Church were found broken on Aug. 7.

The damage happened sometime after 9 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the church at 718 NW Seventh St.

Someone with the church discovered the damage just after 8 a.m. and called police, according to Ocala Police Department reports.

Nothing inside the church was missing and the person who reported the incident believes someone may have been trying to get the golf cart that was parked inside the church’s foyer, reports state.

Rev. Jeffrey J. Dove of the church wondered if the vandalism could have been motivated by other reasons. Dove said the church is very active in politics. Others on social media also brought up the possibility.

Police reports did not mention the incident being possibly politically motivated, however.

Dove said there was nothing left behind and nothing was taken, though the police report did note the doors to the sanctuary, off the foyer, were ajar and it looked as if someone entered the church, according to the person who reported the incident.

OPD searched the building with a K9 officer and found no one inside, reports state.

The last vandalism to the church was about a year ago.

“We have a courtyard in the middle and we kind of noticed that there was some kind of rearranging of the furniture and so that gave us clues that a couple of homeless people were hanging out. But then we had two sliding doors broke and shattered also,” Dove said.

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