Burglars victimize Cullman County churches

By Emily Luxen

CULLMAN, AL (WBRC) - After three Cullman County churches are burglarized in the last two weeks, investigators are left looking for answers.

Cathedral of Praise is the latest victim. Suspects fled with a safe filled with money and gift cards meant for school supplies to area kids.

Pastor Dwayne Harbison said early Monday morning, suspects carved a wall in the church, entered and ransacked the building until they found the church's safe. He said it was upsetting to see the damage they caused throughout the church.

"We are working hard to build this church and to remodel the church, so to see that gaping hole, I was very upset," said Harbison. "But, at the same time, I knew the Lord would take care of us some way or another."

Just down the road from Cathedral of Praise, New Freedom Baptist Church and Temple Baptist Church were also recently victimized. Cullman County's Sheriff Tyler Roden said deputies believe the cases are related. "It's a possibility there could be different individuals unknown to each other doing this, but we believe they are related," said Sheriff Roden. "We don't know how exactly, or how that may come out, but we think they are connected."

Harbison said there is a silver lining to this story. Other churches have already offered to help pay for more school supplies, and he thinks this incident will ultimately make the church stronger.

"If anything, this will motivate our congregation. They will want to move forward and they are excited."

The Cullman County Sheriff's Department is offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to arrest of individuals responsible for the church burglaries. Call (256) 734-0342 if you have any information on the case.

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