NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk congregation is asking for the community’s help to find those responsible for breaking in and causing damage to their church.
Spurgeon Memorial Baptist Church is located off Tidewater Drive and lead pastor David Klinedinst says it’s the first time something like this has happened since the church opened in the 1950s.
“People feel safe here. They feel welcomed and they’re willing to help and support,” he said about the community.
Klinedinst was home earlier Thursday morning when his phone rang.
“I got called at 3:30 a.m. by our fine folks from the Norfolk Police Department. I thought it was a prank by some of my friends but I found out it was a serious break-in,” he said.
When he arrived, he says he didn’t expect to see the amount of damage caused.
Windows were smashed, papers and other objects strewn everywhere, cabinets and doors torn open causing thousands of dollars worth of damage, according to Klinedinst.
The pastor says blank checks were taken as well as the printer, but it was left damaged in the back yard.
The burglars also smashed the security camera. Klinedinst believes those who did it are familiar with the church.
“They were able to take the device that records the security footage. We’ve lost the footage of who did it,” he said.
Despite all the damage, little of value was taken. Klinedinst says no confidential information was stolen because of steps already taken to keep those safe, as well as offerings from the previous church service.
He hopes the community can help find who did it or those who are responsible can speak up.
And once that happens, hopefully they can come back to visit the church in a different way.
“Next time use the door and join us on a Sunday morning if you want to see the building. I hope you are found and held accountable so you can reform and come back to us for worship,” Klinedinst said.
If you’d like to help, the church will be cleaning up the damage this Saturday at 10 a.m.
If you know anything about the crime, you can call the Crimeline at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.