Vandals do thousands of dollars in damage to Ensley church

Nichols Temple AME Church. (Source: WBRC video)
Nichols Temple AME Church. (Source: WBRC video)
Updated: Jun. 6, 2018 at 8:39 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Black and white photos capture the faces of two young men who broke into and damaged Nichols Temple AME church in Ensley early Tuesday morning.

"Upset. Confused. To think anyone would be as low as to come into God's house to vandalize and destroy," Jacquelyn Bryant said Wednesday, describing her feelings about the damage.

She showed us how the vandals destroyed the church's six bathrooms by shattering the commodes into tiny pieces.

The vandals also pulled copper from the air conditioning unit and they pulled pipes out of walls leaving behind a couple of feet of water flowing throughout the building.

"When we got to the door, the water met us at the door going outside," Bryant, who has been a member of the church for 40 years, explains.

"We just couldn't believe it. And what baffled us was why? Why? You just destroying property that's got to be replaced," added Joyce Bragg.

She was one of the first members to see the video on the church's security system.

The vandals ripped the alarms off the walls but didn't realize there were cameras rolling too.

The church has put the images out and gotten a few tips to give police.

"And I'm glad that the community is getting involved, that they're willing to help the church and the community," Bragg says. "If you see something--what do they say, 'Say something.'  And they did just that--they said something."

The repairs will cost thousands of dollars. Some of that was already underway Wednesday as nearly a dozen large fans blew throughout the church's hallways, drying out the floors.

Members say the church does have insurance to cover the costs.

And they say the vandals will not destroy their mission to be a light in the community.

"It's not going to stop us. This will only make us stronger and realize we're going to still work for God," Bryant says. "We are His servants and we're going to continue to work for Him. You may slow us. But you can't stop us."

If you have any information on who may be responsible, you can do so by calling officers at the Birmingham Police Department's west precinct at 205-254-2682.

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