Mayesville church vandalized Sheriff says suspect arrested Sunday suffers from mental illness Chris Moore / The Item Deacon Alfred Wheeler of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church talks Monday morning about the damage inflicted on 16 windows at the East Sumter Street church in Mayesville during the early morning hours on Sunday. The damage prevented members from worshipping in the sanctuary during Sunday's church service. Related Links Photo Gallery: Mayesville church vandalized By MARY DOLAN Item Staff Writer A man who authorities say is apparently mentally ill has been arrested for allegedly vandalizing a Sumter County church during the weekend, smashing what were once colorful stained-glass windows in the sanctuary into tiny pieces of glass littering the ground and causing an estimated $45,000 in damage. Sumter County Sheriff's deputies arrested Eddie Rubin, 40, of 209 E. Sumter St., Mayesville, on Sunday, charging him with malicious injury to personal property after he reportedly confessed to breaking 16 windows at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Mayesville early that morning. RUBIN According to the incident report, deputies responded to a call about 6:30 a.m. Individuals on the scene with Rubin said he revealed he had broken the windows. One witness said she heard him say that church leaders "would not let him worship so he broke the windows out at the church," the report states. Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said it appears Rubin suffers from a mental illness. "He's had a long history of mental problems," Dennis said. Dennis said the sheriff's office has been called to incidents involving Rubin in the past, though none quite of this scale. Deacon Alfred Wheeler said he was surprised when he got the phone call Sunday alerting him to the vandalism that had taken place. Chris Moore / The Item Near the church's entrance, a section of stained glass donated by members of the usher board is now boarded up and will have to be replaced along with the other numerous stained-glass windows throughout the sanctuary. "I mean it was very shocking, I mean when I got the call, I was just assuming it was probably maybe one or two windows, but when I got there, the church was just a total mess," Wheeler said. "I was very shocked." Rubin allegedly bashed 12 stained-glass windows in the sanctuary and four windows at the rear of the church, causing the congregation of between 250 and 300 to meet in the fellowship hall for services on Sunday. Wheeler said church members gathered Sunday night and boarded up the windows. On Monday morning, Wheeler said he hoped to meet with an insurance adjuster sometime later that day. He said he hoped the windows could be repaired soon so the congregation could meet in the sanctuary once again. The church, which Wheeler said is more than 100 years old, has never seen vandalism such as this before. Rubin is being held at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center, where he will soon undergo a mental evaluation, Dennis said. Contact Staff Writer Mary Dolan at or (803) 774-1294.

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