GREENSBORO, N.C. — What started as a day of worship quickly turned into chaos when a virtual church service got hacked on Sunday.
The Minister of Sharpe Road Church of Christ, Nicholas Glenn, said a group of individuals got on his congregation’s virtual church Zoom call, posted pornographic images and typed racial slurs and threatening words of hate during the service.
The incident is being considered a harassment case currently, according to the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office. The department’s internet crimes team is investigating.
“We’ve had our share of challenges, but nothing like we’ve had today,” Glenn said.
Sunday’s service was being held virtually like it has been since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We have Zoom. People like to see each other. It’s kind of a way for us to see each other and worship together,” Glenn said.
But on this day, the congregation was met by unexpected guests hacking into their zoom call.
“It was probably about four to five different people and they were just rapid fire saying different things,” Glenn said.
Glenn said the individuals identified themselves as white supremacists and also said “MAGA,” “white lives matter” and used racial slurs.
“My wife looked at the chat box and she saw it and was like, ‘Stop the broadcast,’” Glenn explained.
For a few minutes it continued, escalating with threats to kill and saying things like, “Get off church and go pick your cotton.”
What’s more, the individuals posted pornographic photos to the Zoom call screen.
All of this on a day where this congregation and so many others dedicate to serving the Lord.
“It’s discouraging to say the least. Sunday is kind of a day where we can get away from what we deal with all week,” he said.
Minister Glenn said after halting the service to remove the individuals from the call, church picked back up where it left off.
While this incident was damaging to morale, he said it serves as a reminder that in 2020, racism and bigotry still lives.
“It’s real. It has been real and still is real. Times like this, we need to unify each other and understand that we are all God’s children and God made us all equal,” he said.
Minister Glenn told FOX8 that he reported the screenshots to Zoom and filed a report with law enforcement.
The minister plans to have a meeting with his congregation to address feelings surrounding Sunday’s mishap.
This coming Sunday, someone from the sheriff’s office will monitor the feed to see if anything happens again.