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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A South Dallas pastor is fighting to keep his church up and operating, despite repeated strikes by vandals and thieves.

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Burglars have tried to take everything of value inside Believers International Ministries. But they didn’t steal the most valued treasure here — man’s spiritual commitment to an area in southeast Dallas.

Bishop Veynell Warren said, “My mission is to bring restoration to the community. I’m determined to turn this region around.”

When it came time to choose a church location Warren said yes to an old cinder block barn of a building, when so many others told him to say no to the troubles that plague southeast Dallas.

Bishop Warren said some of those problems are evident during church time offerings. “We have weapons, that while we’re ministering, people will bring guns and lay them at the alter. They’ll bring knives. They’ve brought crack cocaine and laid it at the alter.”

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Before they were stolen, there were seven security cameras placed in the sanctuary of the church he crafted. Thieves even went into a small room and took candy that he provided for kids.

Even items in a clothing giveaway room for area residents in need were either stolen or trashed in an overnight break-in.

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“They broke in, went into the attic, [and] stole the heating unit. It had maybe six trash bags of clothing and it had to be more than a money issue because they trashed the place.”

Warren has dedicated his ministry to the area for four years, reaching out to those addicted to drugs, or accustomed to the street life of thugs.

In all, thieves and vandals have broken into the church six times. The stealing and looting has cost the church thousands of dollars in lost property and building damage.

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

Warren said he is tired, but not torn from his mission. “I don’t think that God designed for the devil to run the church out of the neighborhood, but the church is gonna run the devil out of the neighborhood. That’s exactly what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna stay and keep praying.”

Among the items stolen was the church heating unit. That means the place of worship is functioning without heat.

The church is in need of assistance, but Warren and his congregants say they’ll somehow find a way to get everything repaired.

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