Tulsa Church Bouncing Back After Break In, Attempted Arson - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Church Bouncing Back After Break In, Attempted Arson

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Jessie Parham, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa church is still cleaning up after a boy broke in and tried to set the place on fire.

But after strangers came to the rescue, the congregation is getting back on its feet.

Members of Grace United Methodist Church are in high spirits, even though their sanctuary was almost burned to the ground.

Rev. Cap Mcllnay said would-be thieves broke in on June 2, vandalized property and poured a trail of gasoline through the church.

Then they emptied the fire extinguishers and tried to empty the church's safe too.

"I suspect they were going after Sunday morning's collection," McIlnay said. "But, of course, we deposit that after church every week. The only thing that was in there was a bag of ashes from Ash Wednesday."

The building was not reduced to ashes, but there was enough damage to close off the chapel.

Now the congregation is bouncing back.

"In amongst disaster … there's huge blessings. You just have to be patient and wait for them," facilities manager Albert Kahl said.

They didn't have to wait long.

Church groups from Claremore and as far away as Pryor, have been cleaning up all week.

Even a perfect stranger offered help.

"… I'd never even seen her before," Mcllnay said. "She drove up and gave us a check for $500. The outpouring of love has been tremendous."

The church will be worshipping in the fellowship hall for the rest of the summer.

Mcllnay said it's just an inconvenience and nothing more.

"I'm not worried about this," he said. "God will take care of his house."

Mcllnay said he went to the home of the boy accused and invited the family to Sunday service.

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