Belinda Baugh, the pastor in charge of New Divine Worship Center in Petersburg, Va., did not mince words when she saw online photos of racially-charged vandalism in her neighborhood.
According to a report by WTVR-TV, Pastor Baugh expressed her shock and dismay at racial slurs that a vandal painted on some fences in Petersburg.
"When I saw it, I was in awe. I was like...what? We don't want that wickedness coming here," WTVR-TV quoted Baugh saying.
The same report said that the pastor initially learned about the racial insults when she saw several photos of them circulating on social media.
Baugh explained that community members should 'renounce' instead of ignoring such racial slurs.
The pastor argued that no one is allowed to 'speak such hateful language' and incite divisiveness in the Petersburg community.
Baugh warned the vandal that the community would not condone such an act and would work towards finding who spray-painted the fences with racial insults.
The pastor added that community members felt relieved with the outcry that followed the vandalism incident.
She explained that residents had confidence with the knowledge that people acknowledged the incident and promised to do something to resolve it.
"I think it gave them relief knowing that it's not going to be swept under the rug," Pastor Baugh told WTVR-TV.
'It's Not Who We Are Here'
The female pastor, known for her anti-racism advocacy, defended the neighborhood from possible association with the vandal.
She lamented that whoever did the racial slurs on the fences is probably someone 'who has nothing to do' but incite trouble.
The pastor argued that the vandals do not represent the City of Petersburg residents.
The same report said Petersburg PD currently coordinates with property owners in the area to determine when the graffiti might have been painted.
The local police are also coming up with a list of possible suspects.
The WTVR-TV article disclosed that property owners in the neighborhood first noticed and alarmed local police in August about the racial insults painted on their fences.
About Pastor Belinda Baugh
Baugh is the pastor of the New Divine Worship Center based in Petersburg.
The pastor has been involved in key social advocacies such as anti-racism.
She has also been very active in speaking her mind and making her presence felt in incidents affecting the neighborhood she ministers.
A separate report by WTVR-TV said Baugh was involved in protest marches and clamored for potential witnesses to come out and tell police what they knew about violent crimes in Petersburg.
"If you don't, it's going to happen to somebody else's child," the pastor warned.
A report by Progress-Index quoted Baugh's daughter saying her mother serves as a "beacon of light" in the Petersburg community.
On Aug. 30, Pastor Baugh's initiative, the Regional STOP the Violence event at Third Baptist Church, drew residents and families who lost loved ones to gun violence.
Pastor Baugh was front and center at the event as she went around talking to attendees.
Baugh commented that when violence impacts one community, the implications are felt in other communities, which was probably why the one-day event involved residents in Greater Richmond's Tri-Cities.