Cops: Man deliberately crashed car into Greenville church

GREENVILLE, SC (WYFF) - Police said a man deliberately drove his car through the front doors of a church in Greenville on Sunday.

A witness told police he heard a noise, looked outside his window and saw a large white sedan position itself in front of the Little Zion Baptist Church on North Vance Street. He said the car drove into the church's front doors.

The witness said the driver moved the car to the building's right side and drove through the pillars supporting the front porch cover, then drove through the church's sign on his way out. The driver left, the witness said, but returned to look at the damage.

Police said they arrested John David Griffith III at the scene and charged him with malicious damage greater than $10,000.

"I was astonished and shocked because we've been working hard to build up this church for the community so the people in this area can have a place to come and worship the Lord," said the Rev. Douglas Hallums of Little Zion Baptist Church.

Officers said the suspect had returned and basically admitted to the damage, though did not give a motive.

The pastor estimates the damage will cost the church close to $30,000.

Little Zion Baptist Church recently established a food bank, feeding the homeless and hungry. Rev. Hallums said the church will still help the community even if it takes time to repair the damages. He said they should be able to have church next Sunday in the social hall.

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