‘We’re not gonna let fear rule our faith’: Church members gather days after attempted theft

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 11:41 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Members of Portland Church of Christ worshipped together for the first time since Sunday service was interrupted by an attempted theft.

Around 11 a.m. on Sunday, an underage male went into the Portland Church of Christ on Portland Avenue during a sermon, according to LMPD spokesman Aaron Ellis.

Once collections were taken, the offering plate was set aside next to the altar. The suspect then grabbed the plate and ran down the aisle.

Pastor Gary Butts said he watched as the boy pointed a gun at a young woman as he tried to leave. That’s when he and other church members tackled the suspect to the ground.

“I was just trying to get the gun away from him before he could do any damage,” Butts said.

Butts said the church prayed while they waited for police.

“I really feel bad for the young man because he was a juvenile and he made a really bad decision,” he said. “It’s going to affect him the rest of his life. And unfortunately, he’s one of the many young people out on the street resorting to this kind of violence.”

He said this proves the church is needed now more than ever.

“You need to be concerned and you need to be cautious, but you cannot let fear rule your life,” he said. “And we’re not gonna let fear rule our faith and shut us down here. This is going to help us pull together and serve our community better. And that’s my hope here,” Butts said.

The juvenile has been taken into custody and investigation is ongoing.

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