Vandals paint 'There is no God' at Irmo church

The family life center at Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Irmo has been hit by vandals twice in the past week.

IRMO, SC (WACH) - Vandals are writing messages of hate on houses of worship, and Richland County deputies hope you can help track them down.

The congregation of Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Irmo is stunned after vandals spray painted anti-religious messages on church property.

Sometime Sunday evening, the suspects spray painted "God=Delusion" on the side of the church's family life center.

Only days before, someone spray painted "There is no God" on the family life center and "Atheism" on the concrete near the entrance.

Pastor Bob Vincent says while these incidents are shocking, they've actually brought his congregation closer together.

"It was disappointing and disheartening," said Pastor Vincent outside the church Wednesday afternoon. "But when we digested what was happening we kind of started feeling sorry for the person doing what they're doing."

Back in May, deputies say someone vandalized another church just up the road from Shady Grove. Someone spray painted a swastika on a basketball goal at Saint John's Lutheran Church.

Investigators think these cases may be linked to another church vandalism off Garners Ferry Road that occurred in June. Deputies say someone in a white van damaged an air conditioning unit at Resurrection Life Ministries.

Sheriff Lott says it is unfortunate that criminals are stooping to the lowest levels by desecrating houses of worship.

If you have information on who may be involved in these vandalism cases, call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.