SPD investigating vandalism at Victory Center Church

The letters “KKK” were carved into the sign at Victory Center Church on Linden Circle between Thursday night and Sunday morning. SPD is investigating the incident. (Photo by RYAN PHILLIPS, SDN)

The Starkville Police Department is investigating a potential vandalism case involving a racist message carved into a sign at a local church.

Bishop Michael Boyd of Victory Center Church on Linden Circle, said someone carved “KKK” over the picture on the church’s sign facing out onto Louisville Street.

SPD Public Information Officer Brandon Lovelady told the SDN on Thursday police are still investigating the incident.

Boyd said he noticed the marks on the sign after the morning service on Sunday.

“I’m quite sure even people who were not affected by it were shaken up by this,” he said. “This isn’t something that really goes on in Starkville. This is a blight when someone does something stupid like that.”

The incident occurred some time between Thursday night and Sunday morning. The non-denominational church has operated since 2000 and has a small congregation of about 30 people.

Boyd has been with the church for about 15 years and said he has seen a rise in similar hate-driven cases.

“Over the last year, people are tearing up grave stones, burning up mosques,” he said. “I hope that don’t come here.”

Despite the vandalism sending shockwaves through the community, the church has been met with an abundance of support.

A GoFundMe page was started to help the church replace the sign, and has nearly doubled its goal of raising $250 in only one day, raising $460 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Boyd said the cost of the damage is minuscule, but the act itself is what is bothersome.

“After that situation occurred, it seemed like a lot of people reached out to me,” he said. “I was amazed at the support and concern from the community at large and I am very uplifted as a result of that.”

Boyd expressed his gratitude for the support his church has received and said it is important for those in the community to speak out against hate.

“For them to be silent would have said a whole lot to me,” he said.