BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — When Pastor Charles H. Walker arrived at Mt. Hope Community Church Wednesday afternoon, he saw several sets of footprints leading from the sidewalk to the back of the church. A pit formed in his stomach and a sinking feeling started when he unlocked the door.
“When I came in here, I just started screaming and wailing,” said Pastor Walker. “I am hurt.”
The thieves took off with around $4,000 in music equipment like speakers, subwoofers, a bass. The impact from the burglary is greater than the price tag, though.
“They’re biting the hand that feeds them.”
The pastor has had the church on Broadway in the city’s East Side for six years. He’s never had any issues until recently and now, the church has been burglarized three times in as many months.
Pastor Walker is weighing the option of having security cameras installed and he has filed a formal police report about the stolen items but he doesn’t want any charges pressed.
“If they would just bring back the equipment, I will pray with them and then I will help them find jobs,” said the pastor who is a leader at the Back to Basics re-entry program. “I will find work for them so they don’t have to go around stealing items and then stand a chance of going to jail.”
He will still be holding services there this coming Sunday but doubts they’ll have amplified music. No matter what happens, he’s hopeful these crimes will stop taking place in his church.
“We’re bent but we’re not broken.”
For information on how to help out the Mt. Hope Community Church after these burglaries, call Pastor Walker at (716) 854-1086 or (716) 602-6676