Church youth group turns hateful graffiti into work of art

BEAVERTON, Ore. - It's a disheartening sight to see that vandals have spray-painted hateful things on your church. But faced with a church covered in graffiti, a youth group in Beaverton decided to send a message back and create a work of art.

New Vision Fellowship on Menlo Drive in Beaverton was one of two churches hit by taggers sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. The youth pastor a New Vision arrived on Wednesday morning to find "666," an upside-down cross and other satanic graffiti on the walls.

"We were kind of shocked that someone would feel like they could do something like that," said Kathy Wilson, who is married to the youth group leader and helps out at the church.

The pastor called his youth group, who decided that instead of painting the walls white again, they would get some spray paint of their own and create a mural over the graffiti.

"I felt like I was actually taking a big part in the whole covering up of a mess and making it into a beautiful piece of art," said youth group member Emma Lancaster.

An artist at the church helped the kids design the mural, which they plan to leave up for a while.

"The whole process of this was really meaningful for me and really fun and enjoyable," Lancaster said.

"It's covered in love," Wilson said of the new mural. "I think that's the message of our church. No matter where you're at or what hate you have in your heart, God covers it with love."

Police said taggers also hit Unity Church of SW 5th Street with dark green spray paint. That's only about a mile away from New Vision Fellowship, although investigators aren't sure if the incidents are connected.

If you have any information about vandalism at either church police would like you to call them at (503) 629-0111.