COVINGTON -- As if to prove that nothing is sacred in today's society, thieves stole several thousand dollars worth of equipment from Hebron World Church on Turner Lake Circle late Sunday night or early Monday morning. And to add insult to injury, they also took several 2-pound bags of Skittles.
Pastor Charles Wallace said from a spiritual standpoint he sees the timing of the break-in as an attack from "the Enemy."
"We had just launched our teen youth ministry and a lot of kids had made a decision to follow Jesus and change their life," he said.
"Sunday a lot of people were touched and made commitments to Jesus. I think the Enemy was really upset. Teens and young adults had committed their life to God, and I don't think he was happy."
The culprits kicked in the glass front door of the church at 7165 Turner Lake Circle, near the Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter and the Newton County Community Food Pantry.
"We're located right under the water tower," Wallace said, adding that the church has about 150 members.
Items taken included a video camera, computers and monitors, a keyboard and the Skittles, candy to be used as a fund-raising tool for the church's youth. Wallace said the fundraising efforts were to pay for upcoming youth conferences and summer activities.
Wallace said he saw the break-in as a symptom of the frustration many are experiencing and he expressed sadness that people would feel free to break into a church.
"There is such a sense of hopelessness in this younger generation that they end up doing irrational things. It's sad and we pray for them," he said. "But I do believe God is getting people's attention that he is the way."
Wallace said he would certainly offer the opportunity for the culprits to return any or all of the items taken, but added he was pretty sure that there was as much chance of that as the proverbial "snowball in Hades" making it through without melting.
"If there's anything I want to come out of this, I want people to know we are really making an impact in our community as it relates to teens and young adults," the pastor said. "We solicit prayers and people to join us who really want to make a difference."
Sunday worship services at Hebron are at 10:30 a.m.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the Covington Police Department at 770-786-7605. Tips can be given to the CPD anonymously by visiting the Web site at www.covingtonpolice.com and clicking on "Most Wanted" and then "Anonymous Tips."