A burned cross was found this morning on the property of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church at 1300 Rossview Road.
Police continue to investigate the charred remains, which was found by a church member passing by; the cross was propped up against a chain lock at the church gate.
According to police, the burnt cross has been classified a hate crime.
Pastor Vernon Hooks, who has been in town for 34 years, said today that nothing like this has ever happened before. No church property was damaged. Hooks noted that there have been no threats and can’t understand why someone would target his church and congregation.
The church has 150 members who will assemble Wednesday for a prayer meeting.
Pastor Hooks said he has already forgiven those who did this.
Anyone with information can call the Crime Stoppers TIPS line at 931-645-TIPS (8477).