Members of The Church of Our Savior Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in Boynton Beach are uneasy about recent break-ins through a side window. In the most recent incident, vandals broke a stained glass window. The same window was also smashed earlier this year in January. The church’s pastor says she does not think it was a hate crime.
“I’m 99 percent sure it is not a gay thing,” said Pastor Wendy Woodruff. “Our folks are concerned about it because they feel hurt and the windows are expensive to fix.”
There’s a Sherwin Williams paint store next door, which has two damaged windows directly across the broken one at The Church of Our Savior. Coincidence? Pastor Woodruff doesn’t think so. “This happened at about two in the morning,” she said. “This is the kind of neighborhood where people might be a bit desperate, looking for fast cash or something to sell.”
In April, a robbery was reported in the Church parking lot. Pastor Woodruff attributes all of it to criminals looking for a quick buck. “When you have folks who are desperate, looking for fast cash or something to sell, anyone can be a victim.”
There has also been a recent incident of graffiti being painted on the Church's brick wall in front of the Church. The word ‘dick’ is still visible. “If it were a gay slur,” she said, “there are lots of other words they could have used.”
The damaged, stained glass windows were handmade by local artists. They were of great sentimental value, as well as of monetary value. Each was worth approximately $3,000 when originally purchased.
All of the 14 stained-glass windows were donated in memory of church members who died. A new stained glass window is in the works by the same local artist who created the one that was destroyed. It is expected to be ready by the end of the month. Nothing else of value was taken from inside the church or damaged.
Church leaders are now talking about getting a new security system and installing a new light on the roof. In addition, police are driving by more to keep a closer eye on the location.
The Church of Our Savior MCC is an all-inclusive Church founded over 26 years ago in Boynton Beach. The location, on Federal Highway, was originally a Pizza Hut. The church now has about 50 members. MCC Churches were the first to perform same-gender marriages and have been on the forefront of the struggle towards marriage equality in the U.S. and other countries worldwide.