SAN ANTONIO - For over two decades, members at a local church never worried about thieves -- until recently. Criminals have targeted Grace Cathedral Christian Church five times in a month and a half.
"We just locked the doors and, by the Grace of God, nothing like this has ever happened before," said Pastor Charles Wilborn of Grace Cathedral Christian Church.
Grace Cathedral Christian Church sits in the Beacon Hill Neighborhood, just northwest of downtown.
"This entire facility is worth about $1.5 million," Pastor Wilborn said. "This church was finished in 1920, a lot of historical value. So we have to protect our property as best we can."
Until five weeks ago, the 35-member congregation never worried about thieves.
"In the past month and a half, we've had five break-ins," Wilborn noted. "Someone decided to steal our microphones, televisions, water pressure machine, amphlifiers. They've broken several doors."
The criminals pried open a back door to get in. Each time they strike, it appears they try a different room in the church to grab valuables.
"They couldn't get in [through] the [office] door, so they punched a hole through this glass window," Pastor Wilborn explained. "Then they stuck their hand inside and unlocked the door."
The thieves also broke the hinges to the church's trailer and took a bunch of tools inside.
Wilborn says that everything taken can be replaced, everything except a watch and ring that belonged to his late mother.
"I don't know what's happened," he said. "Maybe the devil feels like we're up to something great here and he's trying to discourage us, but that's not acceptable. We will continue to keep doing what God has called us to do here."
Total damages are estimated at around $5,000.
As for those responsible, Pastor Wilborn asks them to repent.
"Jesus loves you. If you repent, God will forgive you," he said. "In the process of being forgiven, please replace the items that were taken aback, because there's no peace. You can find peace in Christ Jesus."
To raise money for surveillance cameras and security lights, church members are handing out flyers all around town to spread the word about their BBQ plate fundraiser.
It's happening Saturday, August 19 from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. at Grace Cathedral Christian Church located at 1001 W. Huisache Ave.
BBQ plates will be $8 each. To pre-order the BBQ chicken plates with two sides, call 210-781-8467 or 210-878-9534.
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