Jasper pastor praying for suspect behind church vandalism, burglary
Someone vandalized and stole from New Beginnings Church in Jasper, Tennessee.
Pastor Jerry Gilliam and his wife Robin have led the church for the past 10 years. They say this is the first time someone has vandalized or broken in to the church.
“Just a sad story,” Pastor Gilliam said.
Pastor Gilliam got a call from a church volunteer on Monday around 9:00 a.m.
“She says someone has thrown a rock through the front door,” he said. “I couldn't really truly react because I didn't really know what was going on.”
When the Gilliam’s got to the church, glass from the front door was shattered and scattered throughout the entrance.
“It actually had completely taken the whole door window out and then when I saw the rock the rock ends up being the size of a football,” Pastor Gilliam said.
When police arrived, the Gilliam's were sure nothing was missing. But they were wrong.
“Later on found out sure enough came up on the stage, our keyboard was stolen; our master keyboard. Our drum set was stolen, other drum equipment,” Pastor Gilliam explained.
Now a day after the incident, their front door is boarded up thanks to two community members.
“That same day we had a couple men from our community come over and literally clean the whole area,” Pastor Gilliam said. “They went and purchased with their own money the boarding to board up the door until we get the glass replacement. So the community really came out and really blessed us during this time.”
It's not clear who is responsible for the damage, but Pastor Gilliam has a message for them.
“We're not a church of judgment. We're not a people of judgment. We forgive you. It's okay.”
If you have any information on what happened, call the Jasper Police Department at (423) 942-3805.