Small church in Atlanta gutted by burglars

May 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM

ATLANTA, May 13 (UPI) -- A small church in Atlanta was completely gutted by burglars, leaving the people who worship there "devastated and in shock," the church's pastor said.

When an usher arrived at the New Faith Full Gospel Church in southeast Atlanta Sunday, he discovered burglars had gutted walls and ceilings, ripping out copper wires and pipes, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"It looked like somebody took an ax and gutted the church. They cut the wires for the electricity. We had no electricity, no water, nothing," said Pastor Beverly Kempson. "I can't imagine anybody not fearing God. Forget people, we're human. But not to fear God and to be able to do that?"

"They might as well have burned the building down," Kempson said. "Everybody is devastated and in shock."

Kempson's father built the church and was the pastor there until his daughter and son-in-law, Bishop Gregory Kempson, took over.

Beverly Kempson said there have been three break-ins over the past eight years, during which microwaves, lawn equipment and the church keyboard have been stolen, but nothing as devastating as what happened over the weekend.

"You can replace a microwave," she said.

Kempson said she is unsure of when or where the congregation of about 50 people will be able to meet again.

"My husband is just laying it before the Lord," she said. "My prayer is the person or persons who did this will come under the fear of God. My desire is to see them get saved."

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