Thieves strike another coast church

By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Yet another house of worship in our area has been targeted by thieves. Members of O'Neal Road Baptist Church say the break-in occurred through a side entrance sometime Saturday afternoon. Now the congregation is wondering why someone would steal from God's house.

The broken glass was the most visible sign that someone had violated the sanctity of O'Neal Road Baptist. Lou Gottlich said after cleaning the church all Saturday morning, she left to take food to the family of a church member who had recently passed away.

"I was gone approximately from about an hour to an hour and a half," said Gottlich.

Then, she came back inside through the main entrance.

"I walked in the door. I went into the office and came back to turn the heat on because it was cold. And when I turned around and looked, I saw this shiny stuff down the hall, so there a door was broken."

Once inside, church members say the thieves made off with hundreds of dollars in p.a. equipment.

"I'm disappointed in somebody would break-in anywhere but especially a church. That's the Lord's house and preaches the word," said Gottlich.

Despite their hurt, church members began decorating the sanctuary for Sunday services and for a special program on Monday. Members said they were determined to continue doing God's work.

"The fact is, I mean, we're here to serve the Lord," she said. "We're here to serve the people. We're here to be a blessing to other people, and we're here to get the Gospel out and to hope and pray that people will get saved."

Gottlich said what thieves can't take are her faith, her blessings, and the joy that comes with being part of O'Neal Road Baptist family.

"They're a loving, kind, God-fearing King James version Bible. That's what we teach and preach. The word of God. "

Because the investigation is on-going, Gulfport police say they can not release much information but did confirm stolen items were recovered this evening. Church members tell WLOX their p.a. system was found at a pawn shop.

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