Church Members Beat Burglar

March 25, 2006 by

You don’t mess with the Church of the Nazarene in West Palm Beach, Fla. Church members were fed up after a string of burglaries, so they hid out in the church with baseball bats and waited for the perp. When he broke in at 1:00 a.m. they jumped him, beat him, and tied him up for the cops to cart away.

I’ll let you make your own turn the other cheek riffs.

Update: CNN has video with more details, including $25,000 worth of stolen equipment and comments from one of the church members, Esteban Mendosa, who helped capture the burglar: “It rose to the point that we wanted to hurt him, but thank God that God put mercy in our hearts not to hurt him.”

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Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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11 Responses to “Church Members Beat Burglar”

  • Jon Ross
    March 26, 2006

    He had to go to hospital!
    I’m not sure what would have been the best thing to do. On the one hand, I can understand them being annoyed with someone who had repeateldly burgled their church…
    But it reminds me of the story of the adulteress in John 8. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone” Perhaps it would have been better to talk to him, ask him why he had done it, reconciliation.
    (Although I’m sure it’s much easier to say than to do)

  • Jef Suever
    March 26, 2006

    Not in favor of pummeling the guy, but I will wait for the story to come out in a source OTHER than PBP. They are pretty biased. Note they say the guy was hog tied when it shows in the picture he wasn’t. They may have HAD bats, chased him, he fell into a pew, when the cops came, he cried to go to the hospital.
    I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the church people that they didn’t “go Rodney King” on the guy.
    I can certainly identify with their frustrations though.I’d favor some measure to arrest him.

  • RC of strangeculture
    March 26, 2006

    very interesting that they even knew or felt they knew the guy would be breaking in…
    i wonder why they didn’t let the police stake the place out.
    this is just very bizarre and interesting.
    –RC of

  • BLOG
    March 26, 2006

    Church Members Beat Burglar

    From the “Just Because…” files (c/o the fun folks at You don’t mess with the Church of the Nazarene in West Palm Beach, Fla. Church members were fed up after a string of burglaries, so they hid out in…

  • carl
    March 27, 2006

    This is a local story for me. This church is about 15 minutes from my house.
    The church is almost all central american immigrants (immigration status unknown). They bought the church but the city would not let them turn on the power until they made substantial improvements to the building. Appearantly the building was ok when planned parenthood used it but the church can’t.
    So this congregation has been meeting weekly without electricity since then. After the place was broken into, they started the nightly watch. Like the watch of the Lord . . . but different ;)
    They have had four guys stand guard on a rotation for months to keep theier stuff from being stolen. They would stay awake in two hour shifts.
    We can all judge them for how they reacted to the burglar based on our hypotheticals of what we would do but I wonder how many of us would sign up for a rotation to personally guard our church building in the middle of a ghetto?
    We have a hard enough time getting people to show up to a two hour prayer meeteing let alone spend the night a couple times a month.

  • corey
    March 27, 2006

    thanks for that, carl. sometimes I feel like the christian party line is that we’re suppsoed to offer hugs and kissses to everyone regardless of what they’re doing to us. And it’s probably oversimplifying the metaphor, but there’s Biblical record of Jesus’ anger and frustration when he cleared the temple. I wonder why he didn’t go in there and just hug and kiss everyone out? hmmmmm…

  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    March 27, 2006

    It’s always interesting covering stories like this because you never know what kind of details will eventually come out and you never know what the response will be. And the fun thing is you can’t find out either until you just throw it up there and see what happens.
    Personally I sympathize with the church. They were in a tough spot where they couldn’t win either way. Which I think is how the Christian life is supposed to be sometimes, at least from an outside perspective.
    Bottomline: you can’t miss the irony.

  • small dead animals
    March 28, 2006

    Christian Peacemakers

    South Florida style. h/t – The Hate-Filled Diatribess….

  • Dante
    March 28, 2006

    I guess we’ll ignore all the good work Christianity does worldwide and focus on people defending their church from thieves who don’t even respect the sanctity of someone’s place of worship.
    Would you say the same thing about Muslims or Hindus defending a mosque or a temple from thieves? What about Jews defending a synagogue?
    Or does that not fit your narrow-minded agenda?

  • Dante
    March 28, 2006

    Apologies for the above comment, I’m an ass and I didn’t check the context of your post. Yes, I am stupid. Forgive me.

  • Ken
    April 4, 2006

    I can really empathize with the church, our church was broken in to just before Christmas 3 years ago, all our electronics, instruments, office equipment, etc was gone.
    We were the 7th church in the TUlsa area to be hit in about a month.
    Made me want to keep watch with a bat as well!
    And can you imagine being at a church in South Alabama, wondering if your church had burned to the ground each morning…. You think they didnt think about posting guards!?!?
    There are circumstances that call for righteous anger!!!

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