Teens arrested for torching church

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Updated: 6/07/2013 9:24 pm Published: 6/07/2013 9:06 pm

The two vandals accused of setting a church sanctuary on fire are in custody.

When the preacher found out one of the vandals lived in the neighborhood, he went to his home.

"When I introduced myself, the mother started to get really emotional and almost crying and felt so bad," said Rev. Cap McIlnay.

The two teenage boys are accused of trying to blow up the sanctuary at Grace United Methodist Church in the 500 block of South 49th West Avenue.

They now face second-degree arson and burglary charges.

Overnight Sunday, in an attempt to blow up the church, vandals torched the sanctuary, left a trail of paper towels soaked in hand sanitizer, emptied fire extinguishers and used a homemade afghan as fuel.

"Some things you don't do," said McIlnay.

The pastor said God takes care of his home and he will take care of the vandals who did this.

"Justice needs to be served, but they are kids, they are kids," said McIlnay.

He wants this to be a learning lesson.

"I would love to have this a point in their life where they turn around," said the reverend.

When the pastor found out one of the vandals lived in the neighborhood, he knocked on the door and prayed with the boy's mother.

"I told her not to worry about the church, I'm not worried about the church, I was worried about her and her son," said McIlnay.

He hopes that through this malicious act, her son will find Christ.

"Don't worry about the church, worry about your soul," said McIlnay.

He is moving his sermon "Love Never Fails" to the lawn on Sunday and says the teen's mother is planning to attend.

"I am really not worried about this, God will take care of his house," said McIlnay.

Since the damage, the pastor says the woman in the neighborhood dropped off a $500 check and other churches have donated thousands of dollars and toys for the nursery.

McIlnay says it will take at least three months to repair the sanctuary.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

karlschneider - 6/10/2013 7:13 AM
0 Votes
And idiot preachers like this one contribute to ongoing crime. Instead of 'forgiving' he should press charges. Thanks a lot "Pastor", you freaking moron.

Mayor Maynot - 6/9/2013 12:32 PM
0 Votes
Build your rock on faith in mankind.
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