An outpouring of compassion followed the apparent vandalizing on Sept. 27 of a church, located on Providence Road in Cumberland Gap. Posts on the Facebook page for Summey’s Bridge Baptist Church were filled with promises of prayer not only for the congregation but also for the vandals.
According to Claiborne sheriff Bobby Brooks, the only damage to the church structure was the broken door lock and jamb. Photographs of the interior show a substantial amount of time and effort must have been spent ransacking drawers and closets and generally strewing contents indiscriminately.
Brooks said in a telephone interview that his department is in the process of collecting latent prints from soda cans and candy wrappers left at the scene.
Nothing was apparently taken from the church, even though gift cards and other valuables were in plain sight, he said.
The congregation is awaiting insurance adjustment before cleanup can proceed, causing the church to be closed for service on Sunday.
Numerous offers of help were made by concerned posters on the church Facebook page. Many posts invited the congregation to worship at their particular church until Summey’s Bridge Baptist could be restored.
Brooks said the detectives on scene think the vandals could very well be children.
This case is ongoing. The Claiborne Progress will have more on this story, as it becomes available.