LGBT pride flag stolen multiple times from outside local church

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV) -- The First Presbyterian Church has been a part of Morgantown for hundreds of years.

A church is turning a negative act into a positive message after its LGBTQ pride flag was stolen multiple times. (WDTV photo)

In the last ten years, it has made a push to be welcoming to the LGBTQ community.

Until recently, it hung the rainbow LGBTQ flag on its marquee, a public sign of its support.

It's no longer there because it was stolen.

Mavis Grant-Lilley chairs the church's LGBTQ Task Force.

"We don't know why you did it, we love you anyway, but please don't do it again," Grant-Lilley said.

She said someone took the flag out from the marquee and damaged part of the sign.

But it hasn't happened once or twice.

She said it's happened three or four times now.

"We keep putting it back up because we want to make a statement that we're supportive of the LGBT community," Grant-Lilley said. "Not only supportive, but we embrace the LGBT community."

After it was most recently stolen a couple of weeks ago, the church updated its marquee with a message that told the thieves because they stole their flag, they made a donation to PFLAG.

It's an organization that supports LGBTQ persons.

The church was instrumental in bringing the organization to Morgantown last spring.

The church's pastor made the initial donation. Since then, multiple people who attend the church have also made donations.

Church leaders are considering painting a flag here in the future so it can't be stolen.

Either way, they say they'll continue supporting diversity and their neighbors.

"It's an open message of love to the LGBT community," Grant-Lilley said.