A Lafayette church suffered damage due to gunfire on Friday night.

Calvary Baptist Church - located at 6851 Highway 52 East (between Lafayette and Red Boiling Springs) - suffered damage to its building and to one of its church vans as a results of the approximately 18 shots.

"At first, I was shocked," Calvary Baptist Church Pastor Johnny Beaver said. "Then, I was disappointed.

"I know that buildings can be fixed and so can vehicles."

The damage wasn't discovered until Saturday morning when a group of men met at the church for bible study.

"As the day went on and word of what happened to our church spread, I received phone call after phone call from pastors and denominational leaders from the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board," Beaver said. "They were encouraging us to not give way to fear and to continue the mission that God has given to our church. They also offered their counsel as to what steps we should take as a church family.

"I've received a phone call from a sister church offering their building or monetary help. The pastor told me of how this has shaken the whole community, even those who do not attend church. The community support has been overwhelming."

Eight bullets pierced the double glass doors at the main entrance of the building, which also damaged the wall in the foyer. Two shots damaged one window and the wall in that classroom, and another window had one bullet hole.

A church van had four bullet holes down its side and three bullet holes in a back window on the driver's side that exited out the back, passenger side window.

"I'm worried about the van that was damaged," Beaver said. "It is my understanding that the glass on the side of a van like that is hard to replace. We had just this year been given that van by First Baptist Church Hendersonville. We were excited, because it was newer than the van that we owned. I'm afraid that the insurance company may total it, but only time will tell."

Nobody was at the church at the time of the shooting.

Macon County Sheriff's Office personnel questioned neighbors, one of whom heard gunshots at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Friday but did not see anything after looking outside and therefore decided to not contact authorities.

"Initially the reaction of most has been shock," Beaver said. "We don't understand why anyone would want to damage our church building. We understand that a church though is more than just a building. It is the people.

"Of course, we want to know who did this and why they would do it. I believe that a knowledge of who performed this act would at least put to rest speculation as to their motives. The text (messages) and messages that I've received from our congregation have been that along the lines that this will not deter us from doing what we feel the Lord has called us to do in this community."

Though the church building has been there longer, Calvary Baptist Church has made its home there for five years.

"We have had a few families with young children that are dealing with some fear in their kids of coming to church after this," Beaver said.

However, the church conducted its regular Sunday activities as scheduled.

The Macon County Sheriff's Office provided additional security for the duration of the service on Sunday.

"We never thought about canceling the service," Beaver said. "That has never been an option for us. I believe there was a great desire to be with our church family in the building that God has provided for us.

"Instead, our men pulled together (on Saturday) morning and made temporary repairs so that we could secure the front doors. Our men gathered in a circle before making the repairs. We prayed for the person or persons who did this. We prayed that we would have such a ministry that it would touch that individual to the degree that he/she/they would just confess to this. I know that this may sound silly, but we forgive them and love them."

The church hopes the repair process will soon be underway.

"We will be spending this week getting estimates on fixing the damage," Beaver said. "Not only do we have broken glass to contend with but bullet holes inside the building where the bullets came in. I'm hoping that we can get ourselves back to a level of normalcy without too much out of pocket. I feel sure that our Lord will provide for us.

"I believe if anything this is going to pull us together and give us a greater resolve to make a spiritual difference in this community. We want to make Jesus unignorable in Macon County. This will not deter us from doing that. I believe that it will give us a greater resolve."