A Lexington church discovered Thursday that it's heating and air conditioning unit had been torn apart, apparently by copper thieves.
The crime occurred at New Birth House of God on Eastern Avenue just off Third Street. There was a choir practice there on Thursday night, and when Pastor Jonathan Johnson delivered some music for the choir to learn, he was shocked to find the damage. Friday, he was preaching forgiveness.
Pastor Johnson says, "We don't want to hate anyboddy for what they did. We know God will provide, and this is jjust another one of our tests. He's gonna work it out."
But winter, of course, is coming on, and there's a service scheduled at New Birth on Saturday morning at 11 o'clock. The pastor says, "We're going to have to bring in some space heaters to try to get things warmed up. It's really cold in the sanctuary now. It feels like 30 degrees in there."
The heating and air unit was just installed in September. The church does have insurance, but they already had to make one very expensive claim after children vandalized one whole side of the building.
Pastor Johnson explains, "We had been happy to let the kids play in our parking lot, but I think they found out that the siding on the church crushes pretty easy, and they began throwing all kinds of things, bricks and rocks. The insurance paid that claim of $11,000, but I'm worried that they will cancel my insurance if we call this in so we're kind of at a loss as to what to do. The heating and air unit cost almost $7,000."
But he says moving is not an option. "This area needs reviving. It needs a revival, and we just want to help the people here so this is a good area for us to be in."
And as for funding the repairs, he says, "A lot of times the pastor has to come up with some money out of his own pocket, but I'm sure somebody will help me get it paid for. We''re looking for whatever donations we can get, and we would really apprectiate that kind of generosity."
If you would like to help, just call Pastor Johnson at 859 - 519 - 9341.