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Vandals loot Sullivan Baptist Association retreat center

November 8th, 2013 3:21 pm by Rain Smith

Vandals loot Sullivan Baptist Association retreat center

All photos courtesy of the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

The total was still being tallied Friday afternoon, but vandals are expected to have caused tens of thousands of dollars in damages to a church association's retreat center in Kingsport, while also making away with multiple appliances.

The incident was discovered Thursday by a caretaker of the Sullivan Baptist Association Retreat Center on Hood Road. Sullivan County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart says "extensive damage" was done to both the main building and an accompanying lodge that's located on the property.

The SBA is a partnership of approximately 36 churches throughout the area, aiming to maximize their local outreaches and programs through cooperation.

The retreat center has been for sale approximately 18 months, with the incident believed to have occurred over the past two weeks. Litz Manor Baptist Church Pastor Chris Alford, who is a  SBA moderator, says it was still being used occasionally for events, with hopes of perhaps partnering with another organization to keep it up and running.

Police say windows throughout the retreat center's buildings, as well as light fixtures both inside and out, were found busted and broken. Graffiti was spray-painted on walls, including lewd messages, drawings and a pentagram.

Alford added that cabinet doors were ripped from their hinges, while multiple refrigerators, stoves and other appliances were hauled away.

He said the suspended ceiling inside the lodge was pulled down, while the process of surveying what copper may have been stripped was going to begin Friday afternoon.

"If they've torn out the electrical work, (damages) could be astronomical," he said.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office at (423) 279-7506. Tips can also be submitted anonymously at www.scsotn.com.

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