Reverend asks clergy to pray for suspect who shattered church windows

Church stained glass windows sustain damage from overnight vandalism

VICTORIA, Texas – Two windows at First Presbyterian Church boarded up and taped over after a suspected homeless person seemingly shattered them overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.

 “We’re saddened and it breaks our heart,” said Rev. James DeMent. “This is a building, a beautiful building, and designed to worship and honor God.”

The person responsible for the damage suffers from a mental health issue, information DeMent credits the Victoria Police Department learned from a source close to the suspect, a problem that has become prevalent throughout the region. DeMent says the homeless often sleep on the sides of the churches because they make for natural airways. 

“If I could pray for anything it would be for more resources: fiscal, emotional, medical for the large number of homeless in our area,” DeMent said. “During this pandemic, during this economic crisis, the people who have no means, no resources, and now there are more of them.”

According to the U.S. Census, the poverty rate in Victoria County is 15.4%, compared to 13.7% statewide and 10.5% nationwide.

Church members take part in outreach to the homeless through Christ’s Kitchen, which is a few blocks away.

“Christ’s Kitchen ran short of cookies and the word went out and men and women in my congregation brought enormous bags of cookies and desserts,” DeMent said.

Thankful no further damage was inflicted, DeMent sends this message to the person who wrecked two of the church windows, “I would pray for that person to be able to find help for whatever their problem is.”

Repairs are estimated to cost at least $1,000, which is beyond what is in the church’s budget and not high enough of an amount to reach their insurance deductible.

“We’ll be alright and we just would ask people to join us in our prayers and cares and concerns for our homeless and destitute,” DeMent said.