Tri-Cities church able to purchase new vans after vandalism, with donations from community

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A Tri-Cities church was able to purchase new vans thanks to help from the community, after their old vans were vandalized just weeks ago. 

We first brought you the story back in February. Members of the Enon Baptist Church in Jonesborough found their three vans vandalized. 

The windows were broken in, tires slashed and in some cases upside down crosses were spray painted on them. Two of the vans were completely destroyed. 

Pastor David Effler of the Enon Baptist Church said that in the weeks after the vandalism, the church started receiving donations from the community, up to $25,000.

Effler said they were able to purchase two new vans for the church, which are used to pick up children for dinner and worship on Wednesday nights.

“I want to thank every church in the association that gave and all of the anonymous gifts that came in, they were people that wanted to be left anonymous,” Effler said. “We thank God that he touched the hearts of the people around, It’s helped us to get back.”

In the weeks following, Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley announced 19-year-old Thomas Baylock and four juveniles from Erwin were arrested for the vandalism, as well as multiple other vandalisms in the Unicoi and Washington County area. 

Baylock is facing multiple charges in Unicoi County such as civil rights intimidation and vandalism. 

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