Stillwater church's sign vandalized to read, "God bless the KKK" [PHOTO]
The pastor, asked about suspects, says, "It looks to be like somebody who is a white supremacist."
Pastor John Kaiyalethe was summoned to work on his day off yesterday when the Oak Park Heights Police Department let him know somebody had vandalized the sign at his church, the Calvary Assembly, which sits just across the border from Stillwater at 5805 Osgood Avenue N.
The lettering of the sign, which had read "God Bless Oak Park Heights," had been changed to read, "God Bless the KKK."
Here's a photo via Fox 9's Iris Pérez:
A Stillwater man concerned after spotting THIS on Hwy 36 & Osgood. "Where is the city's inner voice?" he asks. pic.twitter.com/1qqvUpTzQM
-- Iris Pérez (@IrisPerezFOX9) July 22, 2014
Reached for comment later the day, Kaiyalethe, tongue planted firmly in cheek, says, "I tell you what -- I'm not a great KKK member. My skin color isn't something they like either... I'm brown."
"I'm originally from India, went to school in 1962 in Tennessee, so I know how these people treat people who are not white," the pastor adds.
Kaiyalethe tells us this isn't the first time the sign has been vandalized during his decade at Calvary.
"We usually have a positive sign -- 'God bless somebody' -- but one 4th of July, we had 'God bless America,' and somebody changed it to 'Dog bless America,'" he says. "That really hurt my feelings, but what do you do?"
Kaiyalethe says that in the most recent incident, the vandal or vandals took Ks from both sides of the two-sided sign, giving them the material needed for the KKK message.
"Our neighborhood has a lot of problem and that has affected our church," Kaiyalethe says. "I am trying my best to reach out to the community, and we offer free counseling for single moms, alcoholics, and drug addicts. I have had people high on drugs, have had them come into the office, make them a cup of coffee, talk to them, try to help them. But sometimes there are times where I feel like, what can I do?"
An Oak Park Heights police report says officers responded to the church on a report of "an inappropriate statement on a sign."
"It appears some individual(s) moved the letters around and no letters appeared to be damaged or missing," the report continues. "Contacted Kaiyalethe who responded to move the letters on the sign. I advised Kaiyalethe to contact the PD if anything else suspicious is observed."
No arrests have been made in connection with the incident.
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