Pastor devastated by church burglaries

July 9, 2012 3:18:08 PM PDT
A member of a small congregation of a South Side church says her church has been burglarized at least ten times in the last two years.

On July 3, it was broken into again in middle of the night.

The congregation believes they took more than 15,000 in merchandize and supplies. The pastor is devastated.

Pastor Dorothy Caffey took over the pastoral duties of the Universal Community Missionary Baptist Church when her husband passed away suddenly five years ago.

The pastor uses her own money to support the church and fund all of its activities. She says the burglars broke the lock on the iron gate and entered the church through the basement window.

"It is disappointing," said Pastor Caffey. "I know the people from this community are struggling and full of drugs. It is disheartening that this is happening the conditions of the community the economic situation and the things that we are up against."

Pastor Caffey is fighting medical issues and wears a device that sometimes makes speaking difficult.

She says the thieves made off with 10 window air conditioning units, as well as all of the church's stereo and musical equipment. She added that in the past they have attempted to steal the stain glass windows.

"I am going to have faith that god will touch someone's heart that will give to help us out," she said.

Pastor Caffey also purchases food to prepare a homemade meal for the homeless every Thursday and says the thieves even took the food.

"They took things that you can eat not things that you have to cook," she said. "I know it is somebody we are feeding they went straight the place where we had the computers."

"My heart is heavy," said church member Delores Anderson. "I know in the community someone knows something and this church is here for the community. The church is here for them whatever you need you do not have to steal."

The Roseland Community pastor says she is running out of money, and does not know how she is going to replace what was stolen.

But she has faith and she also has no anger towards the thieves.

"I want them to say 'I am sorry' and bring back the stuff or come back and say 'I feel bad' (and) be repented for what they do."

Police are investigating the burglary. The pastor has now activated an alarm system and says that just last week burglars again attempted to enter the church and the rectory, but were unable to when the alarm went off.

The pastor says that she received a medical settlement and has now gone through most of her money to fund the church and congregation. She says she will not give up because the residents in her community need help in these difficult economic times.

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