It’s the fourth time someone has targeted Pride flags at the church at 48th Avenue and Garry Street.
“The first reaction is anger and shock, and then that subsides. We’re not going to stop, that’s all I can say,” John Clement, chair of the church’s leadership council, told Global News.
Clement said the office manager arrived at the church around 9 a.m. to find black paint splattered over two windows behind which the flags were hanging.
“This is the first time they have damaged the building. This is more of an attack on the whole building,” he said, adding he was “absolutely” certain the flags were the targets.
After previous attacks, the flags were moved indoors, but Celment said the church had been preparing to move them outside on June 1 to mark Pride month.
“Somebody struck early,” he said.
“The three previous times they were outside, and people either spray-painted big black blobs on two of them. The third one somebody … slashed it.”
That most recent attack, in July 2022, was caught on camera. A man appearing to be between the ages of 50 and 60 years old with a bandana covering his face can be seen using a sharp-edged pole to slash at the flag hanging in the church entryway.
Global News has reached out to Delta police for an update on the investigation into this and the three prior incidents.
Clement said staff spent the day cleaning up the black paint, and that the church plans to proudly fly the flags despite the vandal’s attempts to target them.
He said the church welcomes differences of opinion, but not violence.
“It is frustrating, but in a way, after four times you get resigned. We’re proclaiming the gospel of love the way we see it,” he said.
“We have no problem with anybody not agreeing. We prefer they picketed, or wrote letters to the editor, or made it clear — come and talk with us.”