Police arrest man accused in vandalism of 160-year-old church

Posted: Updated:
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP -

Authorities have arrested a man accused of vandalizing a roughly 160-year-old church in Liberty Township. 

New Jersey State Police confirmed the arrest of Nikolas Marcu, 27, of Liberty Township.

Authorities said the Free Union United Methodist Church in Liberty Township was broken into between Oct. 19 and Oct. 22. Officers found extensive damage at the Warren County church, including burned Bibles and broken keys on an organ and piano.

"It was really just shattering our peace and our place where we come to worship and just that peace was taken from us,” says Pastor Will Joseph.

State police charged Marcu with bias intimidation, aggravated assault, burglary, criminal mischief and theft.

"It seems…they were angry at God or angry at something else and that was their outlet,” Joseph says.

The congregation of about 20 people spent last Sunday cleaning up the mess after they discovered the vandalism. They say that they went on to worship after cleaning and plan on worshiping again this Sunday.

"The church has been there for 160 years and nobody is going to get us down that easy,” says Joseph.

Pastor Joseph says that the church has received an outpouring of support and donations.

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