Members of a predominantly LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) church in St. Petersburg are feeling uneasy after finding two swastikas, a number associated with white supremacy groups and the words "Make America Great Again" drawn in chalk on the driveway of their church: King of Peace Metropolitan Church on 5th Avenue North.
Church members found the words scribbled out Monday, and quickly called police. Within less than an hour, they scrubbed the driveway of the hateful drawings.
Members of the congregation, which has more than 300 members, tell us after 40 years in the Historic Kenwood community, it's disturbing to see.
“It’s not the kind of thing I want to have left on the sidewalk. It’s left our members uneasy and not quite sure what to make of it. I think we were targeted because we are an LGBTQ and with the atmosphere in our country right now, it just makes you feel uncertain,” explained Reverend Candace Shultis.
Shultis says she added the line, "Love one another, please. -God" to the marquee outside of the church after last week's election results came out, knowing there is tension on both political sides.
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Shultis says she never thought her church would be targeted with hateful messages.
"It gave me a sense of incredible disappointment and anger. Nobody likes to be targeted by hate but it also increases my resolve to continue to preach the message of love,” she added.
The church’s sister congregation in Washington D.C. was also vandalized, when someone left feces in the front entrance of the metropolitan church there, according to Shultis.