East Huntingdon church vandalized, $500 reward offered for information

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Paul Peirce, Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.
·2 min read
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Feb. 21—The windows intentionally broken out of Mt. Nebo Independent Community Church in Westmoreland County are temporarily patched with cardboard and tape, but Greg Butler admits that the frustration of attempting to understand why vandals targeted the 131-year-old sanctuary lingers.

Before the 9:30 a.m. service a week ago, Butler arrived at the church at 401 Mt. Nebo Church Road in East Huntingdon to find the floor of the church sanctuary strewn with glass from two "smashed out" windows. A Jesus figurine carrying a cross resting on the interior ledge one of the windows was not damaged and a statue on the other window also escaped damage, he said.

"Apparently, they came up from the outside and hit them with a bat or tire iron or something like that," Butler said. "It's apparently someone that doesn't have God in their life. ... That's all I can say."

The location of the two windows broken indicates the vandal would have approached them from the parking lot.

Butler said parishioners made temporary repairs to the windows before the service.

The vandalism at the nondenominational church, which will celebrate its second anniversary in May, was reported to state police in Greensburg, Butler said.

He said the church building's owner, Nancy Ferguson of Scottdale, was notified. She reported it to her insurance company, and they are awaiting an estimate for replacing the panes, Butler said.

"I don't know how much the windows will cost to replace, but the church was built in 1890, and the windows were pretty old," Butler said.

After Butler made a post on social media about the vandalism, he said one of the church's approximately 40 parishioners who owns JNS Towing in Scottdale posted a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest of the person or people responsible for the vandalism.

The church was not entered, and nothing was stolen, Butler said.

"It's pretty sad someone would intentionally do this," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call state police at 724-832-3288.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@triblive.com or via Twitter .