LOS ANGELES, CA — (01-24-21) — Los Angeles County authorities are investigating an explosion and vandalism that took place at a controversial anti-LGBTQ church. According to El Monte police Lt. Christopher Cano, someone set some kind of explosive off at the First Works Baptist Church located at 2600 Tyler Ave in the city of El Monte on Saturday.

Lt. Cano told ABC 7 News that it initially appeared like the windows had been smashed, but upon closer inspection, it was determined that they were blown out from the explosion.

No reports of injuries or suspects at this time. However it is worth noting that the church in question has a history of anti-LGBTQ and misogynistic sermons that would make some squirm.

“Although we do not yet know the motive, I am aware of the anti-LGBTQ+ and misogynist sermons given by the pastor of First Works Baptist Church,” said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis in a statement to the media.

In fact Supervisor Solis said that her office has referred several incidents of the pastor sermons to the county’s Human Rights Commission.

The New York Times reported“Pastor Bruce Mejia has called on the government to execute gay people, called women “weak,” denounced Jewish people, and said Black Lives Matter had a “wicked agenda.”

This is something that authorities are keeping in mind during their investigation to find and arrest the person responsible for this crime.

The church has indeed faced protests. One such demonstration, set for Sunday, was canceled in the wake of the explosion.

“We are in profound shock and hope that no one was hurt during this tragedy,” said the group Keep El Monte Friendly. “Our movement was intended to bring light and awareness to the hateful rhetoric taught by this group. We understand that what they preach can make people upset. However, we would never promote, encourage or condone any violence or acts of harm.”

Anyone with information on this case are asked to call the FBI’s Los Angeles field office at 1-310-477-6565 or visit www.fbi.gov/tips.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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