Syracuse church turns act of hatred into a message of hope after vandalism

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — St. Paul’s Syracuse, The Downtown Episcopal Church is meant to be a place of love.

There’s a food pantry set up outside the church that’s open for anyone in need. There’s also a set of rainbow doors, a symbol of unity and hospitality for the church.

The doors have stood firmly for quite some time. Until Sunday morning, when the congregation found their safe sanctuary was a victim of vandalism.

Someone, or a group of people knocked the doors over, damaging them quite a bit in the process.

Father Philip Major says St. Pauls is about connecting with people through joy and love and someone tried to take that away.

“We are not excluding anybody regardless of their sexual orientation or their position in life. So, to feel push back against that is really discouraging.”

Father Philip Major

Yet, as shocked as they were to find the doors vandalized, he and parishioner David Morgan were pleasantly surprised to see support come from the downtown community.

Strangers overnight put [the doors] up, at least partially. There are people in the community that find that to be an important message so we want to continue that. We will not be deterred in what we’re trying to say in terms of hospitality.

David Morgan, Parishoner

Their message is much bigger than the doors — it’s a message of hope.

Father Major and Morgan both say they see love and support being carried through the community in and around their parish, and it’s not going to stop because of this.

“There’s no stopping our community when we all work together and when people really try to do something good and kind for others.”


Father Major also has a message for whoever damaged their doors:

“There’s welcome for you at St. Paul’s also.”

On Tuesday morning, members of the parish came together to try and fix the doors.

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