JACKSON — Members of a middle Georgia church are wondering where their weekly offering is after it was stolen yesterday, but in the meantime are focusing on ministering to one of their own.
Following worship services a member of Towaliga Baptist Church in Jackson left a bank bag containing the morning offering in her vehicle during lunch at a local restaurant. Thieves entered the car and, among other items, stole the bag containing over $10,000.
In addition, explained Pastor Jay Sanders, members had begun taking up a collection to provide an age-appropriate book to students in the Butts County School System, Pre-K through fifth grade. “Yesterday was our final big push to collect money before buying the books,” he said. The drive to raise money had been going on for months, with an initial special offering taken at the beginning coupled with the one yesterday. Money for the books made up a small portion of what was stolen, with 75-80% of funds needed having already been raised, he added.
An investigation is ongoing, with church members turning their attention to the member who’d had the money bag in her possession.
“She’s really struggling. During our service last night it was made clear no one thought this was her fault,” said Sanders. “She devotes a lot of her time to responsibilities like this – things no one else wants to do. She’s been doing it a long time and takes classes to make sure we’re up to date with IRS laws.”
He related that several people had asked how much it would take to cover paying for the books, offering to do so on the spot.
“God has redeemed this,” Sanders said. “As a pastor, I was really encouraged to see members come together to meet the need and minister to her as well.”