Things are turning around for the St. John's Missionary Baptist Church in Somerville. Repairs are being made by Morgan County Jail trustees, and they're on track for people to worship there this week.
The damage may have been jaw-dropping, but the changes seen in less than a week are equally so, if not more. Trustees have spent the last two days cleaning up after the church's interior was vandalized. Four juveniles were charged in the incident, which included vulgar words painted on the walls, broken glass and feces smeared on pews and door handles.
“We came in, and we had 11 men who were speechless," said one trustee. "We didn’t say much at all, looking at the overall damage, but today, the mood is much lighter because the church at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church is being restored, and it just looks like a repair job now is being done."
Morale was very low Sunday when WAAY 31 spoke with Curtis Burton Sr., the deacon who found the church in ruins. Nearly a week later, spirits were high.
“It’s uplifting, you know," Curtis said. "I never thought we’d be in here this early. The sheriff and everyone was out here yesterday, and they just worked together and got us going."
“I’m so excited about it, I don’t know what to do," said Amos Burton, also a deacon at the church. "Like my brother said, we didn’t expect we’d be in here this early under no conditions after what we had seen and the damage that’d been done. We didn’t think we’d have a chance.”
There is still work that needs to be done, but members of the church are thankful to hopefully have Sunday school this week. The sheriff's office is planning to have a community cleanup day Oct. 30.