Janet Silvera / Gleaner Senior Writer
A man who “explored” the 150-year-old Sharon Baptist Church in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth on Sunday returned 24 hours later to rob the place of worship, taking an undisclosed amount with him.
The man, believed to be in his early 20s, pointed a gun at the church’s administrative secretary around 12.30pm today, shortly after begging and receiving food from her.
According to the head of the institution, the Reverend Dr Jacob Powell, the man never wore a mask and did not seem to care about being recognized.
The fact that he asked for prayer after church ended on Sunday, paying particular attention to where the collected offering was placed, led Dr. Powell to conclude that “he came to spot the place. He never really wanted prayer”.
Earlier in the day, when he showed up at the church, which is near the Santa Cruz police station, the thief reportedly asked the Reverend, complained of being hungry, “And after having been fed, pushed the administrative secretary into a corner, and when she tried to run, grabbed her purse with personal money and the petty cash that was in the office”.
The man is known to the community, said the reverend.
“A person saw him going in and out of the church. He wasn’t even hiding; he casually walked out but left a bag with clothes behind. The same clothes he wore on Sunday,” he said.
A police officer who was also at church on Sunday and saw him talking with Reverend Powell was able to describe him.
Before robbing the administrative person, he told him that his mother-in-law had kicked him out of their house, advising him to go down to the church to the pastor’s house for help, the leader said. church. The Gleaner.
“THEY ARE NOT AFRAID”
Reverend Powell’s experience with crime in the land comes as gunmen, thieves and criminals desecrate and show contempt for the house of God. It was the first time the church had been robbed, but Dr Powell admitted it brings to life what scripture says about a generation that does not know the Lord.
“They are not afraid of him, they kill people in the church, they rob people in the church and they rob pastors,” the reverend lamented, adding that it shows how bad the country is. right now.
“People have no respect for sacred space or the house of God. They don’t see the Church as holy ground,” he noted.
Dr. Powell says he leads a church that is caring, where members don’t feel threatened or afraid. It is a church that gives to people in the community who are in need, he said.
“So it was so easy for him to pounce on her (administrative secretary) because she wouldn’t have expected it. If I had been there, I would have let my guard down in the same way,” he said. he declared.
Sharon Baptist Church was established in July 1872.