Vandals target ‘Black Lives Matter' sign at Bellevue church

VIDEO: Black Lives Matter sign at Bellevue church

Vandals spray-painted a banner at a Bellevue church and the pastor isn't taking it down.

The "Black Lives Matter" sign now has "Black" crossed out and reads "Blue Lives Matter." The vandalism happened about 10 days ago.

"We chose to leave it up, that was a conscious decision," said Rev Kevin Brown.

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Brown is leaving the sign posted on the First Congregational Church building at the busy intersection of Northeast Eighth Street and 108th Avenue Northeast.

He says people keep calling to tell him the banner was vandalized. Brown says he is leaving it to spark the conversation about race. He says First Congregational Church, which belongs to United Church of Christ, is a progressive church. The "Black Lives Matter" sign hangs beside the rainbow LGBTQ sign.

Brown says historically churches have been complicit in racism, but he wants to make it clear that his church is inclusive.

"We feel as a progressive Christian church we need to say, whoa, there's another side to Christianity and it's not judgmental and angry and hateful. It's loving and caring and supportive," Brown said.

When asked if the vandal was supporting the national "Blue Lives Matter" movement in support of police officers, Brown thought it was unlikely someone used the criminal act of vandalism to show support for police.

Brown ordered a new "Black Lives Matter" sign and will replace the vandalized sign when it arrives.

First Congregational Church is Bellevue's oldest church, founded 120 years ago. It will move next month to a new location several blocks away. Brown says when they will take the banners with them and once again hang them outside the church.

Brown reported the theft to Bellevue Police who suggested they move the signs out of reach.

"One cannot be constantly reacting to what may happen," said Brown, "You just have to step out and risk. We are a church, we have open doors."

The "Black Lives Matter" sign now has "Black" crossed out and reads "Blue Lives Matter." The vandalism happened about 10 days ago.

"We chose to leave it up, that was a conscious decision," said Rev Kevin Brown.

Brown is leaving the sign posted on the First Congregational Church building at the busy intersection of Northeast Eighth Street and 108th Avenue Northeast.

He says people keep calling to tell him the banner was vandalized. Brown says he is leaving it to spark the conversation about race. He says First Congregational Church, which belongs to United Church of Christ, is a progressive church. The "Black Lives Matter" sign hangs beside the rainbow LGBTQ sign.

Brown says historically churches have been complicit in racism, but he wants to make it clear that his church is inclusive.

"We feel as a progressive Christian church we need to say, whoa, there's another side to Christianity and it's not judgmental and angry and hateful. It's loving and caring and supportive," Brown said.

When asked if the vandal was supporting the national "Blue Lives Matter" movement in support of police officers, Brown thought it was unlikely someone used the criminal act of vandalism to show support for police.

Brown ordered a new "Black Lives Matter" sign and will replace the vandalized sign when it arrives.

First Congregational Church is Bellevue's oldest church, founded 120 years ago. It will move next month to a new location several blocks away. Brown says when they will take the banners with them and once again hang them outside the church.

Brown reported the theft to Bellevue Police who suggested they move the signs out of reach.

"One cannot be constantly reacting to what may happen," said Brown, "You just have to step out and risk. We are a church, we have open doors."