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Black Lives Matter Banner In Front Of Local Church Goes Missing

By Diana Rocco

CHERRY HILL, N.J., (CBS) -- A Black Lives Matter banner disappears from outside a Cherry Hill church.

The church is disappointed, but hoping attention will promote discussion.

From the pulpit to these pews at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill, Sunday morning's sermons often turn to national issues.

"Our church has had a lot of conversations about racial justice and how we could be a part of helping make a better world frankly, and one way to do that is for our mostly white congregation to affirm that black lives matter and should matter in our community," said Rev. Christian Schmidt, interim co-minister.

Rev. Schmidt wears a Black Lives Matter button, as do so many in his 300 member congregation.

"We're not saying other lives don't matter. We're saying that black lives need to matter as much in this country as anyone else's," said Rev. Schmidt.

Tuesday morning a Black Lives Matter banner promoting the upcoming community discussion went missing.

"Sadly I was not surprised and was kind of expecting something like this at some point," Rev. Schmidt said.

"I'm saddened that I even had to anticipate that it was probably going to happen," said Jo Green, a member of the church.

It happened sometime overnight. The church called police, but disappointed church members, like Green, say it only highlights the problem.

"I would love to know why, and I would like to talk to them about why they did it," said Green.

"The bottom of our sign, it says Black Lives Matter and the bottom part is Join The Discussion Here. That's really what we want is a discussion," said Rev Schmidt.

The Cherry Hill Police Department is now investigating. While the church says they would like to see their sign returned, at the very least they are hoping to turn from this negative to a positive and bring people out for their discussion.

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