LGBTQ-friendly church in Fresno holds vigil after vandalism
FRESNO, Calif. – Members and allies of the LGBTQ community and church leaders from across the valley joined together at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church for the candlelight vigil on Sunday. A crowd of more than 100 people went to support the church.
“It's really nice to know that the community really loves us and supports us and to know that they feel the same way about us, that we love and support them,” says Our Savior’s head pastor Bill Knezovich.
On April 18, all of the windows at Our Savior’ Lutheran Church were shattered. Stickers bearing the far right organization’s name, “the Proud Boys’,” were left at the scene.
The Fresno Police Department is investigating the felony vandalism as a hate crime.
The police chief said estimated damages total to more than $25,000.
This wasn’t the first time the Proud Boys are believed to have targeted the congregation. They also intimidated attendees of the family-friendly drag show the church held back in December.
Despite the recent attacks, Knezovich says the community is rising above the hate.
“The best thing we can do is to be the best reflection of who we think God is and calls us to be,” Knezovich says.
Church members set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the church repairs.
This story is part of the Central Valley News Collaborative, which is supported by the Central Valley Community Foundation with technology and training support by Microsoft Corp.