Do you ever wonder what your witness is? I’ve been known to mumble at people driving down the road and to comment about their driving habits. I’ve gotten better at doing it with a smile on my face since I am now driving with a magnetic church sign on the driver side of my car, a pastor decal on the back window and a Christian fish symbol firmly affixed to my rear bumper. I have these things placed because I really do want folks to join me in worship not only on Sunday, but every day of the week. What must someone think when they see the guy in the big SUV bearing down on them in traffic, then passing while shaking a fist at another poor hapless driver, and prominently displaying a bumper sticker or Christian symbol in the rearview mirror? Is this the image of God we want to share with the world?
As I read this article (see below) my heart just broke for the churches who were violated through the robberies. But, for the church where these musicians were playing for worship! My heart is truly grieving. That congregation has been hurt in ways that will take years to heal, if they ever do, if the congregation can even survive this violation of trust and “witness”.
It is a shame that we see this kind of thing happen in our churches by people we think we know and love. Why in the world do we need to worry about our enemy attacking or destroying our ministries when we often are doing it ourselves?
2 Gospel Musicians Charged in Ga. Church break-ins
By Associated Press
For the AJC
ATLANTA — Two gospel singers face multiple counts of burglary and theft after authorities say the pair played uplifting music for several middle Georgia churches, then stole some $100,000 worth of speakers, microphones, keyboards and other musical equipment.
Washington County Sheriff Thomas H. Smith said Tuesday that 28-year-old Deshawn Rico Thomas, of Augusta, and 28-year-old Rico Pionegro Blackshear from Dublin each are charged with nine counts of theft by taking and nine counts of burglary.
Smith said the men are being held in Washington County. Charges are pending in Johnson, Laurens, Twiggs, Bleckley and Jefferson counties, where authorities believe they may be linked to several more break-ins.
Thomas said the men are cooperating with police. Neither man had a listed phone number and The Associated Press was unable to find phone numbers for band mates.
“They played with a gospel group and while churches were having revivals, they would volunteer to play,” Smith said. “They would scope the church out, and then several days later, come back and steal all the equipment. That’s pretty bad.”
He said the men told authorities they used a screwdriver to pry open church doors.
Authorities investigating a string of nine break-ins at churches across the county between February and April got a tip last week that the men might be involved, Smith said.
Working with law officers from two other counties, Smith said authorities executed a search warrant on Blackshear’s Dublin home on May 6. He said they found musical equipment in buildings on his property. The same day, Smith said, investigators tracked Thomas to Sandersville, where they found him driving a white Ford Explorer full of equipment they believe belonged to various churches.
“They had a band, a church band, and they were using equipment for the church band,” Thomas said the men told him.
Thomas said he did not know of any attorney representing the men.
More arrests are expected.