FORT WORTH (CBS11) – Stealing from a church is becoming common practice is southeast Fort Worth, where one church has been repeatedly broken into.
Broken glass has given way to plywood, as members of St. Timothy Church board up the doors.
Overnight, thieves broke through the glass at the Anglican church on 4201 Mitchell Blvd.
“If people want to come to this church, don’t break through the windows; come through the door,” said Bishop Keith Ackerman. “Breaking through the windows, you’ll get cut. If you come through the doors, I’ll embrace you, I’ll feed you and I’ll do everything I can to make your life better.”
Bishop Ackerman believes the thieves are the same ones who hit the church on Saturday, stealing similar items. In the last 13 months, St. Timothy Church has been broken into six times, says the bishop. Gold candle sticks and valuable communion serving dishes were taken were taken this morning.
The bishop says he only reported two of the break ins to Fort Worth Police. He says since they’re considered low priority calls, police often take several hours to respond.
Even the church’s insurance isn’t much help. Ackerman says they have a $10,000 deductible per break-in.
The burglars are stealing from people who don’t have much. Members of the 100-person congregation tend to be older. Most of them make less than $20,000 a year, says the bishop. Even he has been asked to serve there in place of a priest because he says here is no money for a full-time priest.
“In the end, I have to decide whether I’m going to feed a homeless person or am I going to put up a security camera,” said Ackerman. “At this point, I’m opting to fed the homeless people, the hungry people.”
Two parishioners who responded to the church after the break-in decided to make breakfast for everyone, not because it’ll fix the problem, but because it’s the one thing they could do.
“You just pull together and you do what you can,” said church member Brian Pickard. “You could sit around, ‘Oh there’s nothing I can do, but you know, that’s really not our mentality.”