A display honoring the Black Lives Matter movement outside of University United Methodist Church was knocked down sometime between the evening of Thursday, May 6 and the morning of Friday, May 7.
The Black Lives Matter door is one of several that stand outside of the church that together read “God’s doors are open to all" and "Black Lives Matter." Rev. Justin Coleman said the church believes the perpetrator used a large hammer or sledgehammer to knock the door down.
A police report was filed after the incident, but church pastors and staff still do not know who the culprit was. Coleman said the door had previously been damaged and knocked down in two separate incidents.
“We don’t know if it’s the same person or different people, we don’t know if it’s an individual or a group, but we know that the sentiment is out there, that people would resist statements like Black Lives Matter,” he said. “So we think it's an important part of our public witness to just keep on standing up for what we believe.”
Coleman said a UNC student picked up the cross and Black Lives Matter door and notified the church.
By May 14, the display had been restored by members of the church community. Coleman said the church was planning to order a new door to replace the damaged one.
“Right now we think it’s symbolic to have this door that looks damaged but still standing up again,” Coleman said. “We think that’s an important message for the community to see.”
People gave support to the church over Facebook and Instagram. Erika Watson Lusk, a Chapel Hill resident and a member of the church, wrote in an Instagram comment that she was happy to have a church staff and congregation who would not back down from what was right.
A Facebook post by the church detailed how the institution's support for the Black Lives Matter movement is part of their commitment to the care of all lives.