Lifestyle & Human Interest

Celeb Steps in to Buy Church New Van after Theirs Stolen Before Sunday Service


What started off as a Sunday morning like any other for one group of church-goers quickly changed into a day of sadness and disappointment.

They arrived at church thinking they’d be getting a dose of The Word, but what greeted them first was a pile of broken glass in the parking lot where a church van used to be.

Congregants of the Lighthouse Community Church in Stockbridge, Georgia, were shocked to discover that one of their two church vans had been stolen, reported WSB-TV.

The 15-seat vehicle didn’t just serve church members, it was a vital part of helping community children attend various events.

Church member Jimmy Moore urged the thief to return the van, “Look into your heart and if you can return it, return it. And if not, we know God’s going to do what God’s going to do.”

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Moore added, “We’re not looking to arrest anybody. We’re not looking to turn you in. We basically want just want the van back.”

But that was not all Moore had to say to the responsible party, “We already forgave you when you took it because we assume that you took it because you needed it.”

The van had the name of the church emblazoned on the side, making it easy to spot and identify, but days passed and police had no leads.

With only one van available to serve the children of the community, the church had decided to rent a second one until the missing one was returned.

But the story doesn’t end there. A celebrity saw the news report about the missing van and stepped up to help out the church and community.

Church administrator Cindy Smith told WSB-TV how much it meant to all of them. “Just his generosity, his willingness to help us here … he didnt have to do this, but he took the time to call us and to offer this to us and we’re completely in awe and overwhelmed and excited and we know that the Lord touched his heart to do this.”

Arrangements were made to pick up the new van from a dealership on the following Friday.

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In the following days, Tyler Perry has not said anything publicly on social media about his generous act, focusing on promoting his current projects instead.

Prior to the gift, he had been joking about snow in Georgia and talked about telling his people not to come into work because it would not be safe for them to drive on the ice and snow.

An actor, director, writer, and producer, Perry’s most recent book, titled “Higher is Waiting,” was published just months ago. The New York Times bestseller focuses on the spiritual and is intended to serve as inspiration for others, according to the Amazon book listing.

The listing noted that “Perry writes of how his faith has sustained him in hard times, centered him in good times, and enriched his life.” It is easy to see how he’d feel compelled to help out a church and community hit with a hardship.

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