Gulfport church recovers stolen guitar

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - This week a months long investigation into a string of church burglaries by the Harrison County Sheriff's Department finally paid off.

Five people were arrested for their alleged involvement in the crimes that netted thousands of dollars worth of valuables.

Most recently authorities picked up 23-year-old Michael Boyd of Gulfport, who faces felony charges for burglaries at two churches including the Grace Chapel Church back in August.

Now, despite all the hardship over the past months, the congregation can breathe easy again because the items taken from them were worth far more than money could buy.

"It was so sad when everyone learned that his Guitar had been stolen," Grace Chapel member, John Reid said in prayer.

The congregation at Grace Chapel held hands as Reid offered up a special prayer, giving thanks for return of the church's beloved guitar.

"The other ones weren't such a big deal, but that one was a big deal," Reid said.

To an outsider it might appear to be just another guitar, but in reality it was a special gift to the late Reverend Reid.

"He was our founding Pastor and he was here for 41 years so they give him that gift. It was a special honor to him and kind of a symbol of his legacy," Phillip McUrrin, Grace Chapel Pastor said.

"Pa Pa was a very special Pastor. He was not only a special Pastor tome, but he was my grandfather and that guitar was special because the church, the whole congregation had gave it to him for being such a good Pastor," Reid said.

The robbery occurred August 11. That's the day the Pastor said the mood changed throughout the entire church.

"As you go through the process of discovering what was missing, we saw that Reverend Reid's special guitar was missing. And so once we found that out, the news spread around the church and that was like a double whammy because he just recently passed away in the year and so it just kind of opened the wounds up again," McUrrin said.

But those wounds would soon begin to heal as the guitar was returned last week.

"We just called the Sheriff's department and Detective Judy was on it and through a series of weeks he found out where it was," McUrrin said.

Knowing that something so special to his grandfather is back in his possession, John Reid said he can't help, but rejoice as well.

As for the thieves, the church's leader said they will continue to keep them in prayer.

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