Bethel Baptist Church prays for thieves who targeted their congregation

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sunday morning service went on as usual this morning at Bethel Baptist Church in Kansas City, as church members turned the other cheek and prayed for the vandals who broke into their house of worship.

The church is in the 4300 block of East 18th Street. The pastor of the church, Rev. Jimmy Woods, Jr., said someone stole the church’s van on Thanksgiving, which is normally parked behind a locked and chained fence. The pastor tells us the van is intended to pick up and drop off people who don’t have transportation to get to church.

Woods told FOX 4 just a week before that, someone smashed in a window, in a building next to the sanctuary. He says the thieves used the church’s trash cans to load up on food from the cabinets and fridge, and wiped out every cooking utensil that was in the kitchen. The pastor says if the people needed to eat that badly, they should’ve just asked.

“We’ve tried hard to present ourselves in the community as a friendly, family and a point of need, if you had a need. If they would’ve come, not only would we have prepared the food, we would’ve served the food,” said Woods said.

He also offered the people responsible an invitation.

“It wouldn’t be one charge we would press against them for the privilege to lead them to know the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.

The pastor said the leader of a nearby church offered the use of his church’s van. Woods said someone else dropped off groceries Sunday morning to feed the kids before service.

Late Sunday night, the pastor's wife said police had called her husband to let him know the church's van was discovered near 16th and Popular in Kansas City, Missouri. She said the steering column is damaged but it's not a total loss.

FOX 4 reached out to Kansas City police to confirm this information and to request surveillance video, but we were told they couldn’t help until Monday. Check back here for updates once we hear back from police.