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Old Dutch Church near Ellettsville vandalized Monday with references to Hitler, 666


The phrase, “Hitler did nothing wrong,” was written on the wall of the Old Dutch Church on Monday night in Ellettsville, Indiana. Two men were caught on surveillance cameras using spraypaint to graffiti the front, back and right sides of the building, as well as a portion of the sidewalk, a gas tank and light pole.  Ty Vinson

At a tucked-away property just north of Ellettsville, 73-year-old Treva Warthan stood under the bright Wednesday afternoon sun and scrubbed at the 666 someone had spray-painted on her church's front door.

There was still much more to worry about with other words and images sprayed across three walls and the gas tank of the Old Dutch Church, but for now, cleaning away the devil's number and spraying new white paint over the spot was what she could do to help fix the church her family attends.

"You have to pity the people that do this to pick on this little church," Warthan said.

The nondenominational church, whose usual congregation is made up of somewhere between one-to-two dozen worshippers, was vandalized around 9 p.m. Monday by two young men.

Photos of church security footage taken by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office show the unidentified men spray painting the walls with their car pulled up, door open, nearby. One man has shoulder length hair and faces the camera directly. The other has his face obscured by a hat.

Alisa Hough, who is Warthan's daughter as well as the church’s groundskeeper, secretary and treasurer, said she didn't know what had happened until Tuesday evening. She got a call from a woman who noticed the graffiti when visiting her husband’s plot at the church’s graveyard.

“We come down, and this is what we saw,” Hough said.

Different phrases and drawings include "Hitler did nothing wrong," an all-"seeg" eye, the word "sauce" over and over again as well as other additions and obscenities.

A pentagram, along with expletives and other graffiti, were written in spray paint Monday night around the Old Dutch Church in Ellettsville, Indiana. The number 666 was also written on the door above the pentagram, but churchgoer Treva Warthan washed it off. Ty Vinson

Along with 666, the building's front door was spray painted with a pentagram and the word “welcome."

Hough said she doesn't think the church was targeted specifically for any reason other than because it's not visible from the nearby road.

"It's easy to hide back here," Hough said.

The Old Dutch Church has been operating since 1835, although the current building was built around the 1950s.

Hough said insurance suggested painting over the graffiti because the concrete blocks on the side of the church are likely too old to handle any harsh scrubbing such as pressure washing. There was not a cost estimate of the damage as of Wednesday afternoon.

As they wait for the insurance, some community members are offering to help with the costs.

John Hopkins, whose mother was a member of the congregation, pulled up to the church with his wife Jacki and handed Hough a $100 bill.

After he handed Hough the money, Hopkins and his wife looked at the paint damage around the church.

"I'll say," Hopkins said, "they're pretty artistic."

This isn't the only damage the church has overcome, Hough said.

In the past, the church has flooded to the point where pews swirled around off the floor, and people would break the lamppost light and tear up the graveyard.

As far as Hough knows, there will still be church Sunday.

"This is not going to stop us," Hough said.

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