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Oldsmar community rallies behind century-old church following vandalism

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Posted at 10:56 AM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 16:01:16-05

OLDSMAR, Fla. — Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church has been through a lot in the past 100 years, but they may have faced their toughest test this past December when they suffered a break-in resulting in vandalism. However, they got through it, thanks to the Oldsmar community.

“Well it seemed like there was a hurricane here when I walked into this,” said Pastor Robert Green. “The church supplies were strung all out over the yard and the only thing I can do is call 911.”

It was December 18, Green should have been preparing for Christmas service, but instead, he found himself preparing for a massive cleanup. Vandalism was evident in every room of the church, an estimated $35,000 in damage.

“He had graffiti written on the wall, burnt the brand new carpet, burnt the brand new chairs,” said Green.

Many sacred belongings would be unsalvageable.

“The bibles, the hymnals, the robes, the clergy robes,” said Green.

Despite all the destruction, there was reason to be positive. The Oldsmar community immediately started sending prayers and money. They are now up to $17,000 in donations.

“They were heartbroken because they know how we are always reaching out to help and so it was their turn to come in and help us,” said Green.

Green said one particular woman, Sarah Wickstrom, showed up at his door almost like an angel.

“God told her that she had to help clean, I said 'I’m sorry ma'am but we need a professional company,’ she told me, ‘that’s my job, that's what we do,”’ said Green.

In a matter of hours, Sarah’s commercial janitorial company, Tri-Glo, brought in the people, equipment and understanding the church so desperately needed.

“It was about getting their church and their church family back into this place to worship that’s the main reason I did it,” said Wickstrom.

Green hopes others see their story and think about people and organizations in their own neighborhoods who could also use some help in the new year.

“Ask in each other what are you going to do for 2022,” said Green.

For more information on how to help Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, go to