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Billings Church Hit With Racist Graffiti Not Deterred

Kay Erickson

Support from people and organizations from around the country and world is pouring into a Billing Congregation hit twice in recent weeks with racist graffiti and anti-LGBT pamphlets.

Credit Kay Erickson
Pastor Sarah Beck putting up hearts of support

Hearts are literally everywhere at Grace United Methodist Church. They are stuck on the walls and lying on the tables with the just opened mail.  

Letters of support have come from other Methodist congregations, individuals, and from two Girl Scout troops.  

Credit Kay Erickson

Grace  United Pastor Sarah Beck says they are overwhelmed with messages of love and support. She says in addition to letters, they've also received phone calls and emails, including one from London, England,

“We are praying for you and thank you for creating a safe space. We are with you and the LGBT community,” Beck reads from one of the messages.      

She says we need to remember  that the voice of love is so much louder than the voice of hate band whoever was  trying send a message of hate has heard that the people in Billings have each other’s back and it is amazing to be in a town where this is true.

“I  hope that message is received not just from the community but to the leaders of our community that these kind of things are unacceptable,” says Beck.

The Grace Church pastor says what has happened has not deterred the congregation from keeping  their church a welcoming place for all.

“We talked about this is a holy place and God makes it holy and no one can make it not holy because it’s God’s doing,” she says.

Credit Kay Erickson

Beck says the Sunday after the first incident they blessed the door to the sanctuary and said a prayer asking that the doors be open to anyone and everyone who needs sanctuary.

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.