Church Rebounds from Hateful Message

By Julie Tam
|  Monday, May 31, 2010  |  Updated 9:06 AM CDT
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Church Construction Sign Defaced With Racial Slur

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Church Construction Sign Defaced With Racial Slur

Vandals spray-painted a racial slur on a sign announcing a new Cedar Hill church.
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A Cedar Hill church victimized by racist graffiti is planning an event to respond to the message of hate.

Sunday morning, New Beginnings Community Fellowship held its first Sunday service since the incident.

"New Beginnings is now having a new beginning as a result of what happened this week!" Pastor Rodney Frazier, Sr., preached during worship.

New Beginnings now must live out its motto of being "a place where you can start all over again." The church construction sign along U.S. Highway 67 was defaced last week with spraypaint over the pastor's picture and a racist message. It has since been covered up.

"God can take something that was maybe meant for evil and turn it into good," member Felicia Collins said.

"This is something that was done by one or two individuals," church co-administrator Montrose Cunningham said. "The community as a whole has welcomed us with open arms."

Out of hatred comes love from several churches that are creating a new sign to replace the vandalized one. It'll be unveiled at the new construction site on Saturday.

Some members are trying to see a blessing in the act of hate.

"It kind of brought a lot of attention to our church," member Crystal Patterson said. "It kind of got the word out there that we are going to be putting up a new church. Maybe we'll have more members now. Maybe more people in the community will get involved."

By Thursday, an anonymous person had already responded by putting up a sign with a verse from Matthew 5:10 -- "Blessed are the persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of God."

"Regardless of what you're facing, what you're going through, God will protect you regardless," Cunningham said.

Cedar Hill police are investigating the racist vandalism as a possible hate crime.

The church is inviting the whole community to see its new sign at a prayer rally Saturday, 8-9 a.m. It will be held at the construction site on Kingswood Drive and U.S. 67

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