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Man indicted for alleged vandalism of Forsyth County church
Banks Chancellor

A man has been indicted by a Forsyth County grand jury in connection with the vandalization of a local church in April.

Per a copy of the indictment, Banks Andrew Chancellor, of Suwanee, was recently indicted with counts of vandalism to a place of worship and criminal damage to property in the second degree related to an incident at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church on April 27, 2020.

According to the indictment, the vandalism charge is for alleged defacement of the church “by damaging and destroying contents of the children’s worship chapel and Sunday school rooms and by damaging vestments.” 

The criminal damage charge also alleges Chancellor damaged windows, doors, interior walls, contents within with “damage exceeding $500.”

According to a previous Forsyth County News story, a Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested Chancellor at about 2:30 a.m. on the night of the reported vandalism after seeing a silhouette of a person in front of the church’s office trailers. 

The deputy reported that a light was on in one trailer when they arrived but was turned off as they got closer.

Chancellor was arrested after a brief foot chase. 

When St. Columba's staff members arrived, they discovered "extensive damage," according to an email from Father Tripp Norris, the church's rector, sent to parishioners.

Cleaning products, bleach and glue had been poured on garments used during worship services. A library and office equipment were damaged, "most beyond repair." Boy Scout Troop equipment on the property was also damaged.

The worst damage was to St. Columba's Catechesis atrium, a space used for the church's education program for children called Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, which uses handcrafted materials specially designed for kids.

"Unfortunately, the damage to the items in the Catechesis classroom will mean we have to start building that atrium from scratch," Norris said.