MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Sweet Pilgrim Baptist church may be closed, but on New Year's Day its congregation continued to find ways to serve God.
The church was severely damaged by a tornado on New Year's Day and was since burglarized for expensive audio equipment.
"We were blessed last Sunday with Pastor Harold Goodlaw at Emmanuel Seventh-day Adventist. They allowed us to come in and use the church and use their building... It was an awesome service. it was almost like the people they know what we are up against, but they didn't allow that to shake their faith," said Reverend Julius Bryant.
Bryant said the church is waiting to hear from its insurance company; an engineer is scheduled to survey the damage tomorrow.
Pastor Bryant said it may come down to rebuilding the church, which was built in 1966.
"I would hate to see any of my members leave because they don't have somewhere to go and worship," said Bryant.
At least one church member's faith is stronger now, after the storm's destruction.
"It's not about that building. It's about serving God and this storm just on my behalf helps us to come together as Christians," said Eddie Smith, deacon at Sweet Pilgrim Baptist.
In the days since the EF-2 tornado, which peeled the roof open at Sweet Pilgrim, officials have been busy with clean-up and finding a temporary home for worship.
Sometime over the weekend, a burglar struck.
"It's quite shocking, actually, because even though we were hit with the tornado ... We left the alarm system on and it was quite amazing how they were able to get in and the alarm never went off," said Bryant.
Church officials said the burglar entered the building through a rear window. Broken glass and police-dusted fingerprints mar the window's glass.
Once inside, church members say the thief damaged several doors, trying to find items to take.
A deacon's office door was kicked in and the thief took several expensive microphones that were kept there, some speakers were also taken from adjacent rooms.
Pastor Bryant said police did not have any new information for them Tuesday.
Call Mobile Police if you have information about this incident.
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