Copper Stolen From Church, Shutting Down Electricity

(Memphis) When Pastor Willie Gray showed up for a prayer meeting Wednesday night, he discovered no power in his church.

MLGW said the bill was paid, but the lights, heat, nothing worked.

Someone disconnected power to the small Hyde Park church building and pulled a few feet of copper rods from the power lines supplying the building.

Crews wrapped up work replacing the copper Thursday, and we were there when there was finally light again.

“We can pray for them and hopefully they can be blessed by what the good folks here are trying to do,” said Harold Shaw, Tri State Bank.

Tri-State Bank owns the church building.

Shaw helped church members get everything replaced so the power could get back on in time for yet another service.

Shaw said these thefts are happening too often, but stealing from a church shows how bad crime has become in Memphis.

“That’s nature of where we are. The economy is down people find it tough to find jobs and even more are trying to make ends meet,” said Shaw.

The church pastor is so happy to have the lights back on tonight.

While the past 24 hours were an annoyance, he said he believes last night’s cold winter service helped make his church stronger.

“It didn’t hurt service, I kept on, I prayed. It was cold but I kept it going,” said Gray.

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