Thieves vandalize Cleveland church storage with hate messages, cost thousands in damages

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CLEVELAND – The King of Saints Church is a place where people from all walks of life come to join in their faith and to worship.

On Thursday, leaders found hate speech plastered all over a storage unit, which thieves vandalized, taking with them church supplies, props, important military equipment and precious items, which cost the church thousands of dollars.

The King of Saints Tabernacle in Cleveland has been serving residents there for more than two decades.

Dr. Stephen Andrew Missick has led the congregation. Missick assumed the position of Senior Pastor of King of Saints in August of 2021 after his father, who founded the congregation, passed away from COVID.

Missick graduated with a master’s of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and earned a doctorate in ministry from Houston Graduate School of Theology. He is the author of several books, including Jesus the Nazorean, The Ennead, and The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic. 

Missick is a combat veteran and a disabled veteran with 28 years of military experience. He is currently serving as a chaplain in the Texas National Guard.

“This is a nondenominational evangelical church, but we focus on the Jewish roots of the faith,” Missick said. “The 10 Commandments are about loving God with all of your heart and loving your neighbor with all of your heart, and that’s what I’m going to stand for, for honor, integrity and decency.”

Missick said the storage unit contained church supplies, but also contained his important military clothing, military gear and other precious items, including his father’s Vietnam chaplain communion set.

“I’ve got 28 years of military service and I’m still in the National Guard. [The thieves] took everything,” Missick said. “My father passed away in August from COVID and this is his chaplain kit from Vietnam. It wasn’t worth much. It probably has more sentimental value to me than anything.”

Additionally, the thieves spray painted derogatory, racist and hateful messages outside and inside the storage unit.

“It’s horrible. There’s a Swastika and ‘666′ spraypainted in yellow letters,” Missick said. “They wrote the N-word on the floor and other vulgarities.”

Missick is hoping that the thieves will return what they took. He also set up a GoFundMe to help put up a fence, a surveillance system and replace the stolen items.

He said he is still concerned about his military equipment.

“I’m still serving so I need that equipment,” Missick said.

He hopes the thieves are held accountable and that they learn that what they did was not right.

“God loves the whole world -- that’s the message of Jesus Christ - John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world.’ So God loves black, Asian, Hispanic, everyone... and if someone has a hateful heart, they need to turn to Jesus,” Missick said.