Message displayed by Renton church at center of hate crime investigation

RENTON, Wash. — A message displayed by a Renton church is now at the center of a hate crime investigation.

The display outside of United Christian Church read “God’s Doors are open to all” with each word painted on a different door.

On Monday morning, Reverend Cynthia Meyer found that the last door with the word “all” had been set on fire.

“We are aware that when you take a controversial stand there often will be some pretty harsh pushback and we’re seeing that,” Reverend Meyer told KIRO 7’s Jessica Oh Monday.

A few days before, Reverend Meyer said all of the doors were knocked down in the middle of the night.

When parents in the neighborhood heard about the vandalism they brought their children to the church to paint a new door.

They also bolted the display down so it can’t get knocked over again and colored the sidewalks to spread a positive message.

“Quite a few folks in our congregation are part of the LGBTQ community. That’s a group that’s particularly often harmed in the name of religion and that’s not who we think God is,” Reverend Meyer said.

Reverend Meyer said she hopes whoever did the vandalism, sees the love and unity that came from it – even if it was unintentional.

More news from KIRO 7