Church Sends Message To Thieves
CHARLOTTE, NC- A Charlotte church targeted several times by thieves is practicing what it preaches and sending a clear message.
A sign outside Derita Presbyterian Church on Sugar Creek Road reads, “If you stole our stuff, we forgive you.”
“I love the sign! I love it because it teaches us that no matter what we do wrong, God is always going to forgive us,” said Coral Fickheson, a member of the church.
Derita’s members hope the thief sees the sign and returns, but this time for help.
"If a church will hold a grudge, then there's something really wrong," said Revered Linda Bowman, pastor of the church.
Thousands of cars that pass by the church see a message of forgiveness.
"They look at our sign and think, I really need to forgive my boss or my boyfriend or girlfriend who treated me bad," said Bowman.
A thief busted into a shed and stole thousands of dollars worth of lawn equipment.
Reverend Bowman says she wanted to do more than file a police report.
"We did have some discussion about whether or not it was inappropriate. We didn't want anybody to think we put it up as a 'na-na' or just to get in somebody's face," said Bowman.
The church hasn't been able to replace everything that was stolen, but it has replaced the shed's garage door, which police say a red truck or van rammed into.
They took five thousand dollars worth of equipment including a riding and push lawn mower.
Bowman says the church has been targeted several times over the past few years.
"Musical equipment out of the education building.Car break-ins where they took laptops and purses," said Bowman.
She hopes the thieves that came in the night to steal will somehow find the light.
The church is looking into interior and exterior security cameras.
Bowman says she wants to help police find the thief if it happens again.