Church vandalized, continues to hold services

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:41 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Members of a St. Lawrence County church never let heavy vandalism stop them from practicing their faith.

But, it was a shock for members of Dailey Ridge Presbyterian Church in the town of Potsdam when they opened the doors for Sunday worship. They found their church vandalized on June 5.

“It was devastating. It really felt violated that anyone would do this to this old church that is on a national register of historic places, a place where we come every week to renew our energies for another week in this wonderful world,” said Bonnie Boyd, Dailey Ridge clerk of service.

Chairs were broken, lamps were smashed, and a pew was thrown over the balcony onto the floor.

On top of that, the floor and furniture were coated in old powdered paint and the foam from a fire extinguisher.

The estimated damage is between $5,000 and $10,000.

Church members quickly reported the destruction. On June 10, state police charged two teenagers with criminal mischief.

The church first opened in the 1850s and closed during World War II. It reopened in the 1970s, welcoming members who care deeply about the church and what it means to the community.

In the weeks since the vandalism, the damage has mostly been cleaned up.

“It didn’t take us long though after we started picking up the pieces to realize that the cross that was ripped off the wall was still - that the outline of the cross was still there and that was kind of significant and that we knew we would continue,” said Boyd.

Some items will have to be replaced, but members of the church have faith the church will be good as new.

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