Criminals Prey On North Memphis Church

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

(Memphis)  At Friendship Baptist Church on Vollentine in the Klondike Community, criminals have not been coming here to pray, but rather prey on a house of worship in North Memphis.

Everett Humphreys and Matthew Nichols, Junior are church deacons and trustees.

Humphreys said, "I was mad. Like they say the devil is always busy. We've had three things happen within the last 90 days."
         
Thieves pulled up grates out of the parking lot, stole a sound system and just a few days ago they ripped out copper from three large air conditioners.

Nichols said he can't believe this type of crime would happen, "Well, one thing is this a church or is this just a joint where somebody just goes and just takes it and destroys stuff? But this is a church."
       
The church's 300 member congregation has taken precautions to protect their property.  
       
Air conditioners and even a church bus are enclosed behind fences and barbed wire, but Nichols said even more is apparently needed, "I'd say put about a dozen Doberman on them. I do mean that, but Christ wouldn't say that, but I'm not Christ."

Humphreys said, "If they are caught they should do time, but I will pray for them."
        
This church has been a part of this community since 1904.

Nichols said, "At one time we talked about moving several years ago, but we said if the church leaves then there's nothing else left. You just can't leave the area."
           
It's why the congregation of Friendship Baptist says it will remain committed to a community it says needs God, and their church, more so than ever before.

Humphreys said, "I think everything happens for a reason and if nothing else it's to bring the congregation closer together. We aren't going anywhere. Hopefully, we'll be here another 104 years."

Church members plan on meeting tonight to discuss ways to increase security.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.