• 'We believe in forgiveness': Gastonia pastor invites thieves to Sunday service

    By: Ken Lemon

    Updated:

    GASTONIA, N.C. - A Gastonia church set for its first Sunday service under new leadership is facing a setback after thieves broke in and stole equipment worth $5,000.

    Christ Church’s new campus pastor, Vincent Ross, said he isn’t letting the negative action deter him. He also said the church is extending an invitation to the thieves to show up on Sunday – and put that very message on the church’s marquee.

    [ALSO READ: SC man gets 10 years for church break-ins]

    “We have no animosity, no vengeance at all,” Ross said. “We welcome you to come and to receive love and receive service.”

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    Ross said the church is there to be a service to the community, through serving meals to the less fortunate or helping those in need in other ways.

    Church leaders are asking the thieves to return the stolen audio equipment and turn themselves in to police. But that doesn’t mean they won’t welcome them.

    “We believe in forgiveness,” church member Michael Faircloth said. “We believe in the love of Christ, but we also believe in accountability.”

    Ross said the theft affirms the need for the church in the area and said Sunday’s worship service will go on as usual, even if the equipment is not returned.

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