Baylor student raises funds for vandalized church

By Jessica Babb | Broadcast Managing Editor

On Tuesday, Willow Grove Baptist Church, a Waco-area church, was broken into and vandalized. The vandals broke windows and spray painted swastikas and the words “Trump and Satan” inside the predominantly African-American church. The incident caused an estimated $3,000 in damage.

Katie Mendez, a McKinney senior, wanted to show her support for the local church and started a crowdfunding campaign. Since the church has a small congregation, her goal was to raise the $3,000 needed to help with the repairs.

“They are part of the community and needed to be helped,” Mendez said.

After only two days, the Waco community came together and supported Mendez’s idea. The crowdfunding campaign raised $4,745 — surpassing the fund’s initial goal.

“It’s pretty awesome with all of the nasty stuff that’s been going around this weekend. It’s been nice to see all the outpouring of love,” Mendez said. “I’m sure people probably felt like they didn’t have any way to help in the community, so having the opportunity and seeing people actually step up to it was awesome.”

On Wednesday, Pastor Kenneth McNeil responded to the incident on the church’s Facebook page saying, “We will not allow hate to win or divide our community. We will continue to show the love and forgiveness of Christ. Love will always prevail.”