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Keystone Baptist Church's Stolen Bell Recovered

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WESTPORT, Oklahoma -

A piece of history stolen from a Green Country church has been found, but it might be a while before it's placed back outside the church near Westport. 

It's music to Jim Foy's ears. Foy is Keystone Baptist Church's minister.

"That's a good bell, isn't it," Foy said.

The historic bell belongs to the Keystone Baptist Church. The same bell that once hung outside the old church building that had to be torn down during the construction of Keystone Lake.

"The tone on that bell is really beautiful. It's an excellent tone...and we like to ring it," he said. 

But it's pretty been quiet around the church since Mother's Day weekend.

"I was shocked. I could not believe it," Foy said. 

That's when Foy learned the bell had been stolen.

"We've been stolen from several times and it's crazy some of the stuff they've taken," Foy said. "I don't understand that."

News On 6 told you about the missing bell earlier this month.

And within 10 days of our story, the bell was back.

6/3/2017 Related Story: Historic Bell Stolen From Green Country Church

Church member Mark Dietz said someone found the bell in middle of gravel road in Terlton.

He believes the thieves dumped it there after seeing the News On 6 story.

"They realized that bell was hot and they wanted to get rid of it," Dietz said. 

While the church is grateful to have the bell back, it is still missing one thing - the wheel that you pull to make the bell ring.

"Once we recover that, that bell will be working again. 200 plus years old," he said.  

In the meantime, it's being stored in a safe place, ready and waiting to ring out again back where it belongs.

"It's a part of our church, it's a part of our history, it means a lot to us and it's beautiful, so we're just really grateful," Dietz said.  

Grateful and also forgiving, because the minister practices what he preaches.

"We forgive the guy that took the bell. And that's what this church is about because we believe that God forgives us," Foy said.  

Church members are asking whoever has that missing piece to drop it off at the church. 

They say they'd even be willing to pay to get it back, no questions asked. 

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