Money for Christmas gifts, kids’ party stolen from Newport News church

Posted at 7:34 PM, Dec 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-18 06:55:41-05

"If they could come and give their lives to Christ, it would be worth the money." That's what LeRoy Branch, chairman of the Macedonia Baptist Church's trustee board, has to say to whoever stole $700 worth of donations right from their altar.

"I'm disappointed, but not mad because they`re people. They make mistakes," Branch said.

They weren't just any donations. For the past year, kids who go to the church have put money in a five-gallon jug to raise funds for Christmas gifts and a party for themselves.

"Just the idea of taking something for the kids for no good reason. It can`t be a good reason to steal something. I guess it's just how things are today," he said.

The night the jug was taken, the church had a service that lasted until about seven. Sometime between then and the next morning, all the money was gone.

The donations were sitting on the altar where there's a new jar, with just a handful of coins, disguised with decorations.

"We`re trying to get funds now to replace it. We have another jug but of course it`s close to empty. It will be a little tough, but we still will provide for our kids," Branch added.

Police tell NewsChannel 3 they're still investigating. As for Branch, he has an invitation for whoever took the cash.

"Please come and visit us, that`s all I can ask. All you have to do is just bring it back. Nobody`s going to beat you up or call you names. We`re forgiving. That`s what God tells us."