Knightdale pastor pledges to forgive after thief makes off with mobile church

KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Knightdale church had nearly $200,000 worth of technical equipment, instruments, and materials stolen from their trailer early Tuesday morning.

"If you picture a church on the corner, you know with the steeple and the piano inside, and you've got the chairs or the pews or whatever the (brick-and-mortar) church in your mind might look like. If you could just picture the next day driving by and there's just a grassy lot," said Pastor Peter Brown, who helped start The Edge Church four years ago.

It's a mobile church with about 100 members; it sets up and breaks down after services, using the trailer as important storage.

"We have zero ... everything was in that trailer," Brown said.

A security camera caught the suspect shortly before 1 a.m. Tuesday morning driving down Lightrail Drive, where the trailer was stationed. The suspect jumps out of his truck, before attaching the trailer to his truck and driving off. The entire incident lasted about four minutes. The suspect then turned onto Carolinian Avenue as he drove off.

"There was Mr. Fix-It thinking how can we do this, what can we do? There was also -- man that really hurt," Brown said of his initial reaction.

Brown explained the timing of the incident is uncanny, considering that his sermon just two days earlier focused on forgiveness.

"I just kind of laughed. I said 'God, seriously.' Like you have me preaching this thing - this is not according to my plan, this all going the way it went," Brown said.

Despite the difficult circumstances, Brown pledged to follow through with that lesson.

"We need to forgive. And that's my heart. I even shared personally, I'd love to meet whoever did this and look him in the eyes and say 'hey, can we get a cup of coffee? I just want to hear your story,'" Brown said.

The Edge Church plans to hold services Sunday morning, thanking other churches for offering their support.

Knightdale Police said the suspect would face a felony larceny charge and could face additional charges depending on what exactly was in the stolen trailer. If you have any information on this case, call Knightdale Police at (919) 217-2261.
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