Historic church broken into, supplies swiped - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Historic church broken into, supplies swiped

(WMC-TV) - An Arkansas church pastor who was preparing for services Sunday morning got an unholy surprise.

Thieves had broken in overnight and stripped the church of some of its past and its future.

Pastor Lillian Hodges had to prepare her church for services twice on Sunday.

"I tell ya, I'm still nervous," said Hodges.

Hodges is still shaken up after thieves ransacked blessings through Faith Temple in Proctor, Ark. overnight.

"I went to open the door and somebody had taken screwdrivers and things, and taken all the locks off and went into the church," she said.

Crooks made off with electric heaters, sound equipment, and kitchenware. They even took all the light bulbs and food.

"The food and stuff that they ate, they just threw the containers on the floor," said Hodges. "All of our members are devastated."

The modest church with a few dozen members has a rich history. It was founded in 1918 by an African-American woman who worked as a cook at a nearby plantation.

For the past eight years the congregation has been stocking up on items to be used in a new sanctuary scheduled to open this summer.

But now, all of it is gone.

"I'm so hurt on the inside, I feel like crying myself because we worked so hard," said Hodges.

Hodges said her church is one of three churches in the area that's been burglarized recently.

It's a crime she said she is willing to forgive but will be difficult to forget.

"I think that they're hurting and I think they need help, I really do," said Hodges. "If I saw them right now I'd say, 'God have mercy on your soul."

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