Neighborhood NewsIndian Country

Actions

Century-old Crow Agency church vandalized

Boarded Window
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 26, 2023

The Crow Community Baptist Church, which is more than 130 years old, was vandalized on Sunday evening.

Multiple windows were broken out, but church officials said they don't believe the crime will be solved.

For Lark Real Bird, the historic church is a special place.

Real Bird

"It means a lot to me because I come here and feel comforted," Real Bird said. "It's remained the same ever since I was a child and I have this connection to my great-grandmother and other family members that attended here."

Real Bird said that the church is a staple for the community and she believes it was one of the first structures built in Crow Agency.

"This, to me, is like a vintage building," Real Bird said. "So, for someone to vandalize it, it made me sad."

Another Crow Agency resident, Shawn Backbone, said he'd been attending the church since he was a young boy in Sunday school. Backbone said when he found out about the damage, he was distraught.

"It kind of made you angry, when I first heard it and seen it," Backbone said.

Inside the Church

Backbone said that while vandalism can be common in their community, it was upsetting to see it done at a place of worship.

"It's hit a lot homes, you know, but why do they want to do it at a church?" Backbone said. "It's kind of been a staple here for a long time."

Both Backbone and Real Bird said that part of what makes the church special is the effort they made to still respect traditional Crow beliefs.

"They accepted the Baptist because of the cultural awareness," Backbone said. "There's some pictures in there, if you see them, where they were dressed in Crow regalia."

Picture of early services

While church officials are skeptical that they will find out who committed the vandalism, the plan is to fix the windows and continue offering Sunday service.

"The next step is to try and fix what was broken," Backbone said. "They have to try and rebuild and move on."

A GoFundMe page has begun circulating the community in hopes of easing the cost of repairs.

Even once repairs are made, Real Bird said it's something she won't forget anytime soon.

"It's always been a part of this community," Real Bird said. "To me, that was disrespecting our ancestors and people before us. I don't know who it is, but I hope that they don't do this anymore."