Church invites thief back for service

Thief attempts break in at Hamilton church (VIDEO)
Pastor Kenneth Roark inside his World Commissioned Church. (FOX19 NOW)
Pastor Kenneth Roark inside his World Commissioned Church. (FOX19 NOW)

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Everyone is welcome to attend mass each week at the World Commissioned Church in Hamilton. That includes the person who tried to steal from the church.

When Pastor Kenneth Roark noticed the attempted break-in, he remembers thinking, "That kind of makes me mad but right away you start thinking about why it's happening. A person that would break into any place, they must be desperate, they must be in a bad place and things must be going really bad for them."

Pastor Roark discovered the damaged back door last week, but the suspect was unable to pry the large steel door open. The building used to host a Rite-Aid in the 1980s before 2006 when the church moved in.

"What I want people to understand is, I want [the thief] to understand is, it isn't just a building with stuff," said Roark. "It's a building with people that care about it."

It's with that thought that the pastor decided to extend an invite to the suspect.

Roark wrote up a note, stuck it to the backdoor and addressed it to the thief. The note said in part, "We love you and praying for you!" He also went on to invite them to 11 a.m. service on Sunday.

Pastor Roark tells us that all would be forgiven if the thief just showed up and apologized for the damaged door and asked for the help that they needed.

"If that [note], changed somebody's life, it would be worth every bit of it," said Roark. "If they came to church and if they came in and said look 'I did this and I'm sorry for this,' I mean man, that's what it's all about."

Roark did file a report with the Hamilton Police to document the damages to the door.

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