DUNCANVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – Beads of sweat formed on Pastor Joe Temte’s forehead Sunday shortly after holding his service.

“I feel warm ‘cause it’s hot in here,” he said, sitting inside the Fairmeadows Assembly of God Church.

The thermostat Sunday afternoon read 93 degrees.

“I thought, ‘wow, somebody forgot to turn on the air conditioning,’” he said. “I started running around trying to figure out how come the air conditioning wasn’t working.”

When a church member finally walked outside to check the air conditioning units, he realized three were gone – ripped out and stolen, most likely for the copper inside.

Still, the service went on as planned – all two hours of it.

“All the ladies started breaking out their fans,” said Temte.

The members of his church are used to hard times, the pastor said.

“I’d say about 90 percent of them are people who are coming out of prisons, out of drugs, or just don’t have work,” he said.

Loshanda McWilliams has been attending for a year now, after escaping her own past.

“It’s very important for a person like me, coming from my background, brokenness, rejection, addiction,” she said.
 “I know there’s a place hotter than this,” she said.

Temte says police have warned him the thieves may come back for three air conditioning units the church still has running.

“They said, ‘you better work on getting a better lock on the other side because they’re probably coming back to finish the job,’” he said.

The pastor, though, has a better suggestion, adding that he’s not angry at those responsible.

“My invitation to the guy who did it: Come back on Sunday – when we’re open,” he said.

This is one of many cases across the region of air conditioners being stolen. The Parker County Sheriff’s Department issued a warning about the trend last month, as did the Better Business Bureau.

The most tragic instance, however, occurred in Oak Cliff after a 79-year-old woman died two days after reporting her central air conditioning unit had been stolen.