Stained-glass windows smashed by vandals

Vandals tossed up to 40 bricks at a downtown Glendale church, destroying four stained-glass windows depicting the life of Jesus, officials said Friday.

The vandals seemed to have set their destructive sights on the images of Christ, said Jim O'Neal, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church, 7102 N. 58th Drive."It's like they have thrown the bricks at the Lord," O'Neal said. "It's such a shame. I don't know why somebody would be filled with such hate."

O'Neal said he had no idea why his church was targeted. He estimated the damage at $75,000 to $100,000.

Glendale police said there are no motives or suspects in the attack, which occurred about 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. No one was in the church at the time.

The church, just north of City Hall, was founded in 1894. The chapel where the vandalism took place was erected in 1928.

The destroyed windows are part of more than a dozen that were installed from 1973 to 1979, said Tony Creighton, the church's maintenance supervisor.

Church officials said repairs to the now boarded-up windows are expected to be made by the Los Angeles firm that installed them.

Investigators said the vandals climbed to the roof of an adjacent church office, dislodged some bricks and tossed them across a courtyard area and through the windows.

Police said evidence has been gathered and investigators are hoping to make arrests.

O'Neal said the church has a 600-member congregation, about half of whom regularly attend on Sundays.

He said there will be solidarity when members gather for this Sunday's services.

"They can break the picture of Jesus, but they can't destroy the person of Jesus," he said. "They can break our stained-glass windows, but they can't break our spirits."

600450 Stained-glass windows smashed by vandals

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