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Historic Black church in Toronto repeatedly vandalized

Last Updated May 19, 2019 at 8:36 pm PDT

TORONTO (680 NEWS) — A historic Black church in downtown Toronto has been reportedly vandalized three times over the past month.

First Baptist Church Toronto near Dundas and Spadina tells CityNews the first incident happened back on April 25, when a rock was thrown at someone’s vehicle parked in the lot, shattering the window. The second was on May 9, when the church says another rock was thrown at their main sign on the lawn, damaging the digital screen. The most recent incident was on Friday, when a brick was thrown at the church windows, shattering the stained glass.

“I really believe this is a case of vandalism,” said lead Pastor Wendell Gibbs. “It could be one individual who is retaliating for one reason or another, whatever the case may be.”

The Pastor addressed worshipers Sunday morning, providing an update on the damage to the building, adding that police have also been notified. It’s not clear who is behind these attacks or if they’re even all connected.

The church has already made repairs to the signage outside but replacing the window, which was installed back in 1955, will be challenging.

“We will have to find a company who can do something close enough to give us sort of a contrasting compliment to it,” Pastor Gibbs said.

The church was founded in 1826 by fugitive slaves and the building has been on Huron Street for the last 65 years. Many of those in attendance this weekend have been members of the church for decades.

During Sunday’s session, Pastor Gibbs told attendees to continue keeping faith and pray for the person or people behind these incidents.

“We’re a church of love and grace,” he said. “God forgives and we hope the person can recognize there’s no need for it.”