Midnight church service keeps watch on crime

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Reported by: MirandaChristian
Updated: 2/25/2013 9:55 am Published: 2/23/2013 10:05 pm

Midnight is an odd time for service, but Friday Lakeview Heights Baptist Church opened its doors.

For members, and anyone living near Lakeview Heights Baptist Church it's the perfect time to fill pews.

"Evil likes to run in the night," said Darold Burton.

There's no shortage of singing and praying, because thieves have been preying on this church for years. There have been 112 break-ins since 2006.

Burton said crooks have stolen TVs, VCRs, PA systems, even wheel chairs.

"It got to the point, they're stealing toilet paper," said Burton.

They kicked in the door this time.

"They had plenty of time to chip out a dead bolt," said Burton.

The damage will cost about $700 to repair.

Instead of shutting out strangers, the congregation is doing something different: welcoming them, with midnight service.

"If we take the church and close its doors, this neighborhood would go down even farther," said Burton.

They figure that's around the time lost souls are showing up anyway.

"We're letting them in and we're going to welcome them all here," said Burton.

The church sits in one of Tulsa’s lowest income areas. It's been around since the late 1950's.

"We have watched this neighborhood from the beginning and watched it deteriorate," said Burton.

Now they have to watch how they pray: hands folded, and heads bowed and at least one eye on what's happening around them.

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