Two congregations in North Carolina were struck by vandals who've cost the churches tens of thousands of dollars in damage from shattered windows in the children's nursery and spray-painted messages of "one way ticket to hell" and "God loves fags He hates you," on entrance doors to the sanctuary.
Earlier this month Bales Wesleyan Church of Jamestown and Grace Baptist Church of Greensboro, both located in Guilford County, were the victims of vandalism.
Grace Baptist had phrases like "Gay OK" and "God Loves Gays" spray-painted on the grounds, and the building egged and covered with toilet paper. Bales Wesleyan sustained similar damage.
Carl Pulliam, senior pastor at Bales Wesleyan, told The Christian Post about the damage done to his church by the unknown vandals.
"The damage consisted of spray painting pro homosexuality slogans on the side walls of the church building, guest parking signs thrown through the children's nursery windows, the church bus keyed, as well as a metal sign stabbed through the front end grille," said Pulliam.
"... the church marquis vandalised, all of the flowers in the beds pulled from the ground and thrown around the property, spray painting on the front porch stating 'one way ticket to hell' with arrows pointing into the sanctuary, and the front facade of the church spray painted."
Local media outlet Fox 8 described the damage inflicted upon Grace Baptist Church.
"The front of the church was spray-painted and eggs and toilet paper were thrown at the building, according to police. The scene has since cleared," reported Fox 8.
"Bales Memorial Wesleyan Church in Jamestown was found vandalized on Saturday. That church suffered damage, including spray paint and broken windows. The damage in that case was estimated at about $10,000."
Neither church canceled services, but rather went about cleaning off the graffiti and getting repairs to the structural damage.
On their Facebook page, Bales Wesleyan Church expressed gratitude for those who came out to repair the thousands of dollars of damage inflicted upon their property.
"We want to say a huge thank you to our entire community and everyone who took the time to restore our building in time for a wonderful service [on Sunday]. God's promises truly are never broken," posted Bales Wesleyan last week.
On their Facebook page, Grace Baptist Pastor Paul Coward wrote a lengthy post on the issue of how Christians should respond to the vandalism that they received.
"So, what should be a right response to the vandalism committed to the house of God? First, let us all remember our own sinful nature," wrote Coward.
"Then we need to listen to the words of Jesus from the sermon on the mount: 'But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you,' (Matthew 5:44)."
Bales Wesleyan and Grace Baptist are not the first churches in recent years to be the target of vandalism by LGBT activists.
Stockton Springs Community Church in Waldo County, Maine, had swastikas spray-painted on its front door and signs following their open support for traditional marriage in the state's 2012 referendum on gay marriage legalization.
Also in 2012, a group calling itself "Angry Queers" smashed the windows of a Mars Hill Church campus in Portland, Oregon, over the ministry's opposition to homosexuality.
Regarding a motive, pastor Pulliam of Bales Wesleyan told CP that while his church stood by the belief that marriage should be defined exclusively as one man and one woman, they had never had trouble in the past.
"To see such a display of anger reminded me that there are many hurting people in the world. Therefore, we must continue to open our doors to those around us so they can experience freedom in Christ," said Pulliam.
"God has truly blessed us through this trial. As a church, we continue to pray God will bring healing to those responsible for the damage and at the same time we are asking for continued opportunities to open new doors to the world around us."
Police are still investigating the crime and haven't yet concluded whether there's a direct connection between the two vandalisms in Guilford County.
Grace Baptist Church of Greensboro did not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.