Burglar makes off with safe from Florence church

WAAY 31 spoke with the pastor of the church, who explained how he feels about the burglary.

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 4:00 PM
Updated: Oct 23, 2019 5:56 PM

Thieves in the Shoals broke in and took precious items from one of the state's oldest churches. Now, police are searching for those responsible.

WAAY 31 spoke with the pastor of the church, who explained how he feels about the burglary.

Christopher Reeves, the pastor at Greater St. Paul AME Church, said choir members came there last Thursday for practice, but when they walked through the door, they noticed things out of place and a funny smell.

"This was the first sign something had happened," Reeves said about a kicked-in door. "This is where the safe was sitting, right here in this area."

With no cash in the safe, there was something much more precious, jewelry donated by a deceased member and church checks. 

"That was a member of the church who thought enough to want to give some of their lasting piece of jewelry to the church," Reeves said.

The thieves were far from done.

"This drawer was open a little bit, and this drawer down here was open," Reeves said.

Laptops and a DVD player are gone. A fridge was also left open, which led to an unpleasant smell.

"Some of the food that was in the freezer had unthawed a little bit," Reeves said.

Valuable items are gone, but his faith isn't.

"Me, as a person, I forgive them. We're praying for them, and as I stated on my FB [Facebook] post, the whooping that man can give is nothing in comparison to the whooping that God will give," Reeves said.

Since the break-in, Reeves said the church will be doing some security upgrades. It's unclear where exactly the people responsible broke in. Police are still sorting that out.

If you want to help out, you can mail a check to the church at 129 N Cherokee St, Florence, AL 35630. 

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