MORRISTOWN, NJ - The African America Clergy Association of Morris County stands in unity in light of the recent vandalism that has taken place against five of the churches in the community.

With the racial climate as it is in our country and recent acts of violence and killings nationwide in houses of worship, the clergy expressed great concern and fear of many who attend church on a regular basis. 

The clergy issued the following statement, "We would like to express our gratitude and thanks to the political, judicial and police officials who worked together to address this criminality swiftly." 

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The statement continued, "Mayor Tim Dougherty, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, Morris County Prosecutor's Office Chief of Investigations John R. Speirs, Morristown Police Chief Peter Denmitz, and Morris Township Police Chief Mark DiCarlo, who all worked in conjunction with each other, to find and arrest a suspect of this crime within 48 hours. This helped dispel many of the assumptions and anxieties swirling in the community as to its intent.

Stained glassed windows and marquees can be more easily replaced than the public's trust in its churches, community and the public officials who serve them.

Though this crime was not one of bias or hate, it still has lasting impact upon those of us who care for the people of Morristown and Morris Township. There is much work to do to restore and repair the many of the lives affected by this crime. We hope to understand from this, the factors that cause this kind of action, and seek ways to pro-actively address the needs of people before any other crime of this nature takes place in the future.

Together we are committed to the work and look forward to any opportunity to serve our community and congregations to do justice, embrace faithful love and walk humbly with God."