Published Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | 10:28 a.m.
Updated Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | 10:30 p.m.
A man upset with officials at Central Christian Church in Henderson broke windows outside the church this morning, then drove his car through an entrance and into the building's interior, Henderson Police reported.
The brief melee caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage, police and church officials said.
A security system alerted police, who arrived within five minutes of the alarm and arrested Kevin M. Wilson, 51, of Las Vegas, at the scene, according to Keith Paul, Henderson Police spokesman.
Wilson apparently went to the church several times Tuesday demanding to meet with a pastor but was instead told to make an appointment.
Paul related this chain of events from responding officers:
Shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday the church’s alarm system activated and a car could be seen driving inside the building on the surveillance cameras.
Wilson had returned to the church, where he smashed some windows from the outside. He then drove his Kia Spectra through an entrance and into a hallway, where he got out, broke some furniture and knocked holes in the wall. Wilson then returned to his car and drove it down a hallway, causing additional damage. He again stopped, got out again, causing further damage to the building, when an officer arrived and took him into custody.
Ryan Moore, a spokesman for the church near U.S. 95 and Russell Road, said damage was confined mainly to a hallway.
“We’re not really sure why this guy did this or what was in his heart,” Moore said. “We’re just glad no one was hurt.”
The building was empty at the time.
A city of Henderson building inspector examined the church and found no structural damage caused by the incident, Paul said.
Wilson was booked into the Henderson Detention Center on burglary and destruction of property charges, police said.
This afternoon, the church's senior pastor Jud Wilhite posted a message on his Facebook account about the incident.
"We have damage to our first floor and entry doors, but our team has done an incredible job fixing it up. The Henderson Police Department arrested this individual and, thankfully, no one was injured. At 1pm (sic) today we reopened our doors and are excited to be having Weekends on Wednesday tonight at 6:30pm (sic). All services and gatherings will continue with their normal schedule. We ask that you join us in praying for this individual and his family."
As people filed into the church for its 6:30 p.m. sermon, few noticed the damage done to the church. Two decorative boards that had previously been used as props during a church event covered the broken window, and aside from a brief prayer for the suspect and his family, the sermon went on as normal.
Some congregants like Denise Romero weren’t even aware of the events that took place earlier that morning.
“That’s pretty shocking,” Romero said when she found out. “One thing I can say is that to me it sounds like somebody was distressed and, under the circumstances, lost control.”
Moore said the church, which is known for giving second chances, does not plan to press any additional charges against Wilson.
Central Christian Church is the valley’s largest megachurch and draws more than 18,000 people each weekend at its five valley locations, including the Henderson campus.
Sun reporter Brian Nordli contributed to this story.