(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The McCarthy Baptist Church was the scene of a burglary Friday morning.
Pastor Jeremiah Bradford said somone broke into the church about 2:15 a.m., took some items and vandalized the church.
Bradford said a secretary coming into work that morning was the first person to notice something was out of place.
Bradford said that's when he called police, who swept the building. He said the entire experience has been an emotional roller coaster.
"You get the fear, the anger, the confusion," Bradford said. "And the sadness as well that someone would do that to another church."
It was a shock to the wider church community as well as word of the damage quickly spread on social media, and it became clear they had to respond.
"I’ve never seen anything like it," John Longe, volunteer said. "Once we heard that’s when we all decided it’s time to engage and help."
Saturday morning, several churches across St. Joseph and beyond stepped in to help clean up.
While the burglar did get away, Bradford said he was caught on surveillance footage and they’ve been able to recover some stolen items.
True to his faith, Bradford said he has a message for the burglar.
"We do forgive this individual," he said, "And pray that he would come to repentance."
Bradford said he has filed a police report.