KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A church located east of the Plaza is trying to put things back together after a burglar broke in and wrecked the church and stole Christmas presents meant for needy children.
The burglar broke into Sunlight Baptist Church, 4444 Woodland Ave., by prying open the doors with a crow bar. Police say the burglar cut the power to the building, broke in and walked around, prying open doors and ransacking offices for about an hour.
KCP&L was somehow alerted that the power was off and sent a crew to check it out. That caused the burglar to flee.
The pastor, deacons and congregation are saddened over what was taken.
Pastor Emeritus Julius Rambo, who founded the church 52 years ago with just 13 people in the congregation, had several hundred dollars taken out of his desk.
"If he had asked me I would have gave it to him, I really would have," said Julius Rambo, Pastor Emeritus.
The burglar also took presents under the church's Angel Tree. The gifts were meant for children whose parents are in prison; the children may not otherwise get presents without the Angel Tree program.
"That`s not going to stop us from doing what is on our heart for the kids, the Angel Tree. We are going to go forward," said Hubert Williams, church deacon.
Deacon Williams was greeted by police officers when he showed up at the church Monday morning. They told him what had happened and what he'd find inside.
"I was hurt, cause this is our worship place," he said. "We had some damages, but we thank God that no one got hurt."
Church members are working hard to try and salvage Christmas for the needy children as best they can. If you would like to help them, call the church at (816) 921-4159 for donation information.
Meanwhile, the pastor has a message for the person who broke in and took gifts from the children.
"I feel he is a person who needs help," Pastor Rambo said. "We are here to help, so we would welcome him in and help him change his life around."