Thieves ransack Calhoun County church looking for copper

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

CALHOUN COUNTRY, SC (WIS) - A Midlands church that collects food and money for the needy was hit by thieves. Calhoun County deputies say someone stole air conditioners looking for copper.

"Why have people gotten so far away that they lost respect for the house of God, that they have to come and steal?" asked Pastor Mary Hook

Hook couldn't believe thieves left her church, Glover Chapel Restoration Ministry, with a busted water pipe, broken glass and a missing AC unit. "I was very hurt and sad," she said.

Early Monday morning, a neighbor told deputies he saw what he thought was a fire at the church. He went to check it out, and the men took off. Hook says they stole two window air conditioners and a TV, and destroyed the central air and heating unit.

"In the process of snatching the air and heating unit, they pulled loose some of the wires connected to the water source," said Stevie Hook, leaving behind $4,200 in damage.
Pastor Hook says in the church's 120 year history in Swansea, they've never had this happen, but it didn't stop the worship. "We had prayer on Monday night as always," said Hook -- including a prayer for the people who did this. "We've already forgiven them."

Pastor Hook says if the thieves were in need, all they had to do was ask. Her congregation collects food and what they call a "poor people's treasure" to give to the less fortunate. "The Bible says ask and it shall be given," said Hook.

The church does have insurance, so they will be able to replace the stolen AC unit and fix the damage. Also, they now plan to install a security system and video monitoring.

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