East Bay pastor spreads love after home vandalized

Bay Area

RODEO, Calif. (KRON) – An East Bay pastor and his family are sharing a message of love and gratitude this holiday season after being victimized by vandals.

The Hammock’s just moved into their new home in Rodeo, only to find profane graffiti spray-painted on their wall, their pain is healing with community support.

14-years of marriage and countless hours of hard work in the community culminating for the hammock family into a new home in Rodeo.

The elated band of five moved in Saturday but it took less than 24-hours for some of that joy to be stripped away.

“A neighbor actually pointed out what happened and what was actually written on our home,” Darnell Hammock said. 

The vulgar phrase “F*** You” spelled out on the front of their house.

“We were definitely disappointed to see those words,” Darnell said. 

“And, for it to be, honestly, written on the wall that’s of one of our kid’s bedrooms, I felt like very violated and unsafe,” Jennifer Hammock said. 

Darnell Hammock is a pastor at New Life Community Church of Oakland and says their congregation and new neighbors have been extremely supportive.

They have painted over the graffiti but were still tasked with explaining the painful situation to their three young children.

“We had several questions run through our minds when we saw that. Were we targeted because we are a black family moving into this neighborhood? Were we targeted because of my work in the community fighting against injustice? Or, were we targeted because we took down an American flag that has been on this property for 50-plus years,” Darnell said. 

The Hammock’s say despite this violation, they have no hate in their hearts and ahead of this Thanksgiving holiday.

They say they have a lot to be grateful for.

“I’m always thankful for my family, for love and support, and so those are the things that I value highly,” Jennifer said. 

A report has been filed with the office of the sheriff.

The family has also installed a security system to deter any future incidents.

“We have three young Black children — they will experience some other kind of injustice and racism in the future. But again, I think our message is: be prepared for it, but also know there are more people for you than against you,” Darnell said.

“And, that we respond in love and that it’s love that drives out hate,” Jennifer said.  

The Hammock’s plan on planting the rose’s neighbors have dropped off in support beneath the wall that was marked.

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