FLORENCE, Ala. — On Thursday, October 17, burglars found their way inside the Greater St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in west Florence—but they weren't looking for prayer.
Later that evening, a choir member discovered the church's mailbox had been kicked open. Confused, she called Pastor Christopher Reeves, who was shocked after noticing the door to the church's finance room was open.
"When I got to the church, I opened up my office and saw that laptops had been stolen, desks had been looked through, and then went in the finance room and saw that the safe was gone," said Pastor Reeves.
In addition to the safe and laptops, burglars also made off with a television, DVD player, and even perishable food items from the church freezer.
"I was stunned. The main reason I was stunned is because you think the church is sacred," said Pastor Reeves.
In a Facebook post, Pastor Reeves expressed that he forgives the burglars and is praying for them.
Even though the event left the congregation shaken, it's not shaking their spirit.
Pastor Reeves said, "Sometimes God will allow certain things to come in your life in order to remove the old to prepare you for the new. The doors of the church are still open. We're still going to worship; we're still going to praise and give God praise for what God is doing for us."
The Florence Police Department is currently interviewing possible witnesses to get more information on this crime.
If you have any information that can help them solve this burglary, you're asked to call the Shoals Area Crime Stoppers at (256) 386-8685. A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.