On Tuesday night, Clearwater Police responded to Iglesia El Sembrador Wesleyano for reports of swastikas, and other white supremacist hate speech written on their sidewalk and driveway in chalk.
“It makes me extremely sad,” Pastor Luis Villavicencio said. “I would like to have a word with them and see how we can stop this from happening. If there is anything we can do to help alleviate the situation we would be more than happy to do so.”
Villavicencio moved to America to escape the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Villavicencio said he is grateful everyday he became an American citizen and is now dedicating his life to God and helping others in need. His church is in a largely Hispanic neighborhood of Clearwater. A majority of his members are immigrants that need help.
On Nov. 16 the King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church in St. Petersburg was hit by a similar vandal. In chalk, swastikas were written on the sidewalk at the entrance to their church. They also wrote the letters MAGA (Make America Great Again).
The handwriting at both churches eerily similar. Clearwater Police plan to contact St. Petersburg detectives in the morning to determine whether or not the cases could be connected.
In the meantime, Villavicencio said he will increase security at the church and pray.
“All I can do right now in this moment is to pray for them and us to find a way to heal their wounds and come together as one people because we are all Americans,” Villavicencio said. “It represents hate and stands against everything we stand for.”