A Sequatchie County pastor has been hosting a tent revival in the Whitwell area for the last week, but Monday, discovered a thief took off with the tent.
Messiah Bondservant Ministries has been setting up tent revivals throughout the Tennessee Valley for the last six years. They set up in the Cartwright neighborhood on the Sequatchie County side of Whitwell last Monday and have been hosting worship services every evening since. When the sun came up the second Monday, their $3,000 tent was nowhere to be found.
"We meet, sing, preach and tell people there's hope in the Lord. We've had six people saved so far," Messiah Bondservant Ministries' William Dick said.
Pastor William Dick says around 50 people have come out to the tent revival each night for the last week, but now the tent is gone. Crosses, chairs and the are podium knocked over and Bibles are on the ground.
"I was called and told it was gone. It's kind of devastating," Dick said.
He says the woman who owns the property gave him permission to use it for revivals, but that doesn't mean everyone in the neighborhood is okay with it on Cartwright Loop in Whitwell. Others are threatening.
"We set the tent up on Monday. Probably Tuesday afternoon, we started getting threats and a couple nights later, the tent's ropes were cut. Now the tent is gone," Dick said.
The Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office is investigating the theft. The white 30 x 30 tent cost around $3,000, plus hundreds of dollars in stolen extension cords, rope and a lighting fixture. But, the mission may not have a price tag.
"There's a lot of people that are still in bondage because of drugsand alcohol like was for 33 years and there's liberty in the Lord and the devil don't want that getting out," Dick said.
Neighbors we talked to said they've enjoyed having the tent revival on their street and don't know who would take it.
"There are people out there that'll do anything. They stoop this low, and that's bad," neighbor Patrick Kelley said.
Dick says his ministry also helps people coming out of jail and gets regular complaints from some people who don't want that help near their home either. He says he'll just keep on. They'll still have the tent revival, just without the tent, and will continue until further notice. He has a simple message for the person or people who took it.
"My prayer would be that you get saved," Dick said.
The revival without the tent, is at 6:30 p.m. The preachers and musicians change from night to night. They hope to borrow a tent from another church not currently using theirs.
If you have any info on who took their tent and other equipment, call the Sequatchie County Sheriff's Office.
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