According to its website, the “radically inclusive” Metropolitan Community Church of Albuquerque celebrates “all forms of self-expressions, identities and orientations”.
Andy Najar, a member of the congregation who has been attending for more than 30 years, told KOB4: “I think it’s really sad.
“Really the first time, I thought, oh, maybe it was just a mistake or some kids playing around, but after six times you really feel you’re taking it personally, this is a hate crime, let’s try to figure this out.”
“We really celebrate diversity in our community because we’re all different,” Najar added.
The pastor, Judith Maynard, said: “After six attacks, I do feel it’s targeted. It’s just the times we live in.”
KOB4 reported that the rocks used to smash the windows are being stacked inside the church to symbolise the strength of the mostly LGBT+ congregation.
Maynard said: “It’s just a visual so show that we forgive, that we’re stronger than a little rock. Together our faith makes us stronger.
“This community is a great community and we’ll get through this.”
The Metropolitan Community Church was founded 45 years ago by reverend Troy Perry, a Pentecostal minister who was kicked out of his former church after members discovered that he was gay.
It started out as a gathering of just 12 people in Perry’s living room, and has now grown to 160 affiliated churches around the world.
Perry has published two books, The Lord is My Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gayand Don’t Be Afraid Anymore, detailing the story behind the congregation.
Elsewhere this week, across the Atlantic, a Berlin memorial to gay victims of Nazis was also found vandalised.