Grainger Today Editor
BLAINE – Two Blaine churches contacted the Grainger County Sheriff’s Department to report an unusual visitor during morning services Sunday, October 22.
According to Detective Captain Leon Spoone, a man described as having long gray hair and a long gray beard arrived at the first church between approximately 9:45 and 10 a.m., entered the sanctuary and sat down. He reportedly didn’t speak to anyone and stayed only about 10 min. before getting up and leaving.
The man entered the second church at about 11:15 a.m., when the morning worship service was beginning. He reportedly left after less than five minutes. A church member reportedly attempted to greet the man and welcome him to the church by tapping him on the shoulder to get his attention and reaching out to shake his hand. The man reported behaved strangely, and immediately got up and left the church.
When some church members followed him out, he reportedly walked very quickly to his car.
Spoone said the vehicle the man was driving was described as a tan colored Toyota SUV hatchback style vehicle with no license plate displayed.
The man reportedly did not speak to anyone at either church.
Both churches are Baptist churches and are located about three miles apart.
Churches that may have experienced an unreported similar encounter are encouraged to report the incident to Sheriff James Harville or Spoone by calling (865) 828-3613.
Spoone said the GCSD will be increasing patrols at churches for the next couple of Sundays.
Anyone who observes anything suspicious is encouraged to call 911.