Castaic church vandalized with swastikas, pentagrams

Wolfgang Costello, a retired law enforcement deputy and the Head of Maintenance at Freedoms Way Baptist Church in Castaic, points out the notable hate symbols drawn on a trailer outside and next to the church building on Monday morning. Chris Torres/The Signal

A Castaic church, known for holding Taco Tuesdays and Taco Fridays for the surrounding community, was vandalized Sunday evening, with the suspected spray painters tagging the Christian house of worship with swastikas and pentagrams.  

According to Pastor Jerry Cook of Freedom’s Way Baptist Church, he walked onto his church campus early Monday morning to find at least one wall and a trailer covered in graffiti and hate symbols.  

“I would really like to believe it’s random — because obviously there’s always kids that don’t have anything to do and they just want to tag something,” said Cook. “But I will say this: We just had the church building painted a month ago.”  

Cook said that he was grateful to see that the $30,000 the church spent in giving its main building new exterior paint was not damaged, but rather some of the other exterior surfaces surrounding the church were vandalized.  

The vandalism discovered by Pastor Jerry Cook of Freedom’s Way Baptist Church Monday morning. Courtesy photo.

“I’m very surprised that they didn’t touch the actual physical church building,” said Cook.  

After discovering the spray paint on Monday, Cook said he went to file a police report as well as call a security camera company to get cameras up as soon as possible.  

“In a sense it looks random, but again I do find it odd that they put up a pentagram and swastikas here,” said Cook.  

Cook said that the church would be looking to clean up the mess and said that due to some of their community outreach — such as their Taco Tuesday during the week — members of the surrounding neighborhoods, some of whom do not even attend the church, had already assisted in coming out to clean up the graffiti.  

When asked if this would change the way in which the church approaches its theology or philosophy, the pastor of the over 100-member strong congregation on the 28000 block of Sloan Canyon Road said it would not.  

“We’re going to continue to do what we do, which is just preach the Bible,” said Cook. “We’ll clean this up and, Lord willing, it won’t happen again.”  

Hate symbols were discovered Monday morning on a wall adjacent to Freedom’s Way Baptist Church in Castaic. Some of the symbols consisted of swastikas and pentagrams and were drawn on nearby walls and a trailer, but church building itself was untouched. Chris Torres/The Signal

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