Anonymous donor pays for repairs after thieves cut power to church

Missouri

ST. LOUIS– The criminal work of thieves has turned into a work of goodness at a St. Louis church. 

Thursday, a church was hit by suspects who cut the power to the building. Today, the congregation is being overwhelmed by support. 

Pastor Richard Ashley leads the congregation at St. Philip’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. He said, “It was like a gun punch.” 

Pastor Ashley remembered the feeling when he learned the power line to the church was cut and stolen by copper thieves. He said, “We’re just thankful that someone in the community able to help is willing to help.” 

He said he got a call from the Urban League that a supporter, who wants to remain anonymous,  offered to help the Lutheran church pay for the repairs.

Pastor Ashley said, “The Lutheran church, we don’t get emotionally excited like some denominations were about to shout,” and he laughed loudly in celebration. 

Pastor Ashley said, “The Lutheran church, we don’t get emotionally excited like some denominations were about to shout,” and he laughed loudly in celebration. 

The donor wanted to know if St. Philips is one of 82 area churches involved in Grill to Glory. It’s a program where congregations serve lunch to local residents every Saturday.

The idea is to build a safer and stronger community. Urban League Vice President James Clark said, “It’s really harkening back to the late 70’s and early 80’s where the church was an anchor where families would walk to the neighborhood church to get food where the church was a meeting place and people would come to the neighborhood church to solve problems.”  

St. Philip’s does take part in Grill to Glory, which made the donor happy to help. The repair bill is expected to be somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000. 

Pastor Ashely said, “We’re a small congregation we have limited resources so that would be a hit. With whatever help received that will soften the blow… God always uses human beings. In our denomination we say it’s God’s work in our hands.” 

He added, the theme of Sunday’s sermon relates to what happened to the house of worship, “Someone meant it for evil but God meant it for good.” 

They will be grilling up hot dogs Saturday at St. Philip’s. Church services will go back to Zoom, as they did during the pandemic, until the electrical problem is repaired. 

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