MADISON COUNTY, Ill. - A pastor calls it the work of the devil, a small church targeted by vandals. The Madison County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help finding those responsible for spray painting sacrilegious symbols, not once, but twice in the community.
The graffiti sprayed on the church wall was covered up by Monday. The pastor painted over it himself. But he believes what's behind it is not so easy to erase.
The paint might not be a perfect match, but it sure beats what was here before.
"Hail, Satan," "He's sexy," and "666" were scrawled on the wall of the Salem Baptist Church.
"Appeared to be a worship of Satan," said Clarence Squalls. He is pastor of the small church of about 16 members in rural Madison County outside of Alton. He just took over in December.
"I just feel when the church is moving forward, you're always going to be under attack of the devil," he said.
Signs of that attack also appeared a couple of miles away at the entrance to a subdivision. It had another "Hail Satan" and an upside down cross.
Chris Schaefer is house-sitting in the developing neighborhood.
"I think that puts it on a different level of kind of creepy, I mean just because it has an evil spin to it," said Schaefer.
"Like the Bible says, when you desire to do good, evil is always present and that's when Satan raises his head, I guess because he wants to be recognized as well," said the pastor.
The Madison County sheriff says he does not have any evidence these acts are signs of cult activity. He's asking anyone who may have seen something to contact the Madison County Sheriff's Office.