Church parking lot vandalized after months of saving for project in Utica

Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 10:14 PM CDT
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UTICA, Miss. (WLBT) - A church in Utica became the victim of vandalism last night after a driver ruined their new parking lot.

Saturday evening, one of the deacons at Green Hill M.B. Church here in Utica stopped by to check on the church before Sunday morning. However, when he got here, he didn’t expect to see the brand new gravel parking lot destroyed with tire skid marks.

“Deacon called me last night and told me that somebody had been out here on a four-wheeler, messed the parking lot. And I said already? He’s like, yea, messed it up, got a big hole out there. And he said it’s pretty bad. And he was kind of disturbed about it,” Pastor Samuel Harris said.

For months, this small church had been saving up thousands of dollars for one of its final church projects - a new parking lot for its members that wouldn’t flood when it rained.

“We got a contractor to come out and look at it. And this way, you know, we get it put down for a base, and then later we can get the asphalt,” Melvin Smith said.

The church raised $7,000, put its gravel base down, and was ready for the next phase of the project.

Then the unthinkable happened.

Smith said he thinks one person or a group of people rode into the new gravel lot and started doing donuts.

Now, the church will have to save up more money to fix the damage. Pastor Samuel Harris and Smith admitted it will be a big financial strain on their small church.

“Anywhere from $2,500 to $3,500, probably come in and redo the whole thing. Or they’re making less, but you got to drag it home to areas where it may not be damaged yet, but you got to blend it all in,” Smith said.

Pastor Harris said he has filed a police report, and the person or people responsible will come forward.

If you have any information about who may have caused the damage, please call the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department.

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