Rangers Seek Info
Darren Doyle, story:
Joppa Church, located within Mammoth Cave National Park, was vandalized over the weekend, with one or more people spray painting the floor.
Park Officials said that Rangers discovered the vandalism on Sunday, October 28th, around 9am. The church building, which is more than 100 years old, is open to the public during daytime hours. There is no lock on the building.
Tommy Bolton, a local resident who lives only a couple miles from the church, said he received a phone call from another local resident that was informed of the damage so he went to check it out. Bolton regularly visits the property and says that vandalism is a regular occurrence at the church.
"I've seen plenty of vandalism over the years at the church," he said. "It ranges from anything like a couple of benches being moved around to broken windows and broken doors. Currently, the front door has a panel broken out where someone threw a rock through it, from the inside."
Bolton, also a local church song leader, leads the singing at the church's annual community homecoming service, which is held on the second Sunday in September each year. Normally, a local minister volunteers to preach at the service and there is a potluck dinner served on the church grounds. The worship service is open to the public.
Community revivals used to be held there, organized by local churches and ministers. That took place periodically until September of 2015, when the park designated the church for day-use only, as a result of vandalism and illegal activity during nighttime hours.
Molly Shroer, Mammoth Cave NP public relations officer, said there are currently no suspects in the incident but Park Rangers are currently investigating. If anyone has any info as to this crime, you are advised to contact the park ranger law enforcement staff at 270-758-2115.
The church and cemetery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. According to park officials, vandalism of a historic structure could result in a penalty of up to one year in prison and a $5000 fine.
It appears as some sort of demonic image was painted on the floor along with "BRB" in small letters above the image.
The park also said that according to records, the original church building was constructed in 1867 and a new building was built in 1900.