Historic Louisville church left to clean up graffiti - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Historic Louisville church left to clean up graffiti

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A sacred space in Louisville has been covered with graffiti. 

At least one person got past a fence to the front of a Fourth Street church to tag the entryway. Now church leaders are trying to figure out how to get rid of the paint while preserving the history of the place. 

Larry Kinney had his baptism and wedding inside the church. 

"It's where I got married 57 years ago," he said. "It was part of my life, no question." 

But Kinney's visit Friday wasn't just to reminisce and get a tour of the work happening inside. It was also because he heard about what happened outside. 

"I don't know why anybody would do that," Kinney said. 

Graffiti was discovered on the front of the church Monday. Paint on the doors shouldn't be too hard to clean up, but paint on the limestone is a different story. 

"This ... careless act just adds to an already expensive renovation," said Immanuel Church Executive Pastor Ben Hedrick. 

Immanuel Church is spending millions of dollars to renovate and preserve the building. It's been sitting at the corner of Fourth Street and Golden Rule Way since 1911 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Joanne Weeter, a historic preservation consultant on the project, says the architecture featured is considered high style.

"They used a lot of arches, a lot of columns, a very prominent entryway, prominent steps, and typically they had very grand interiors," she said. 

Church leaders say they're still figuring out how to remove the paint from the front without damaging the limestone. But they're not looking to send a bill to the person or people who did this. 

"We want to extend forgiveness and grace," Hedrick said. "We want to be known not for an amazing building but an amazing gospel." 

Those responsible are even invited to Immanuel's first Sunday service in the building late next year, when the paint is gone and people are once again filling the building that's been around for more than a century. 

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