On August 28th unknown vandals broke into and defaced with yellow paint and hateful words St. Paul’s Baptist Tabernacle Church in the Bayview neighborhood. Racial and homophobic epithets — along with satanic references — were sprayed along the walls of the church’s sanctuary and the pastor’s office, with some appearing on an exterior wall as well.
The San Francisco Interfaith Council is collaborating with the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Islamic Network Group to offer support to St. Paul’s. In addition to online donations, members of the Southside Jewish Collaborative (Bonnie Lindauer) and members from Or Shalom (Elliot Helman and Board president Jurate Raulinaitis.) and others participated in a work group to clean up and repaint September 12th. As Elliot wrote in a recent email: “There was a huge turnout from the community and folks at the church kept saying how overwhelmed they were with gratitude for all the help they received today. The Pastor made a point of thanking us for being there, wished us a happy Rosh Hashanah and then asked to take the picture you see here. I can’t imagine a better way to enter into these ‘days of awe’ than by praying with our… brooms, paint brushes, and work gloves.”
JVP & Southside Jewish Collaborative members shown here (Penny Rosenwasser, Laura Bressler, Dave Spero, Bonnie Lindauer, and myself) with the senior Pastor, William Greg Valentine, his wife, and the church deaconess. Also representing, but unfortunately not in the picture, was Or Shalom board president, Jurate Raulinaitis.
Donations for replacement of damaged pews and other items can be made at Action Alert https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/we-stand-with-st-pauls-tabernacle-baptist-church