Faith stays strong in Macon community after church fire & robbery

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The faith of the members of a Macon church stays strong even after their place of worship was set on fire and robbed. A prayer vigil was held at the God’s Power Church of Christ to take a stand against crime.

"This is just a building. We know that we are the church," said the Assistant Pastor at the God’s Power Church of Christ Jeanette Dudley.

The powerful message radiated through the crowd that gathered at the Cedar Avenue building Monday morning.

"Anytime something happens to one place of worship, it’s as if it has happened to every place of worship," said Bibb County Sheriff David Davis.

After the church was set on fire and robbed on two separate occasions, community members and leaders are showing they will not tolerate these types of attacks.

"It’s as if the forces of evil want to drive out the forces of God. This church stands as a beacon of light and someone wants to snuff it out," said Reverend Wayne Anthony, the Chairman of the Macon-Bibb Council of Clergy.

An idea Rev. Anthony still can’t understand.

"You already heard from the minister here that they’re willing to forgive. Go ahead and turn yourself in and try to do what you can to make it right," added Rev. Anthony.

After a self-proclaimed white supremest killed nine people inside a predominantly African American church in Charleston, South Carolina last month, some cities nationwide are experiencing a divide after similar church fires in their communities. Rev. Anthony doesn’t think this will happen in Macon because he plans to talk about controversial topics.

"If we’re not engaged in addressing those issues ahead of time, when an incident occurs, it can be explosive," explained Rev. Anthony.

Dudley sees this as a test of her faith.

"When these things come, we’ve got to pass. We’ve got to make that A," said Dudley.

She knows the church will get through this because of the support it has received.

"I am so grateful and I do thank God for everybody that do come out here and shown their love," said Dudley.

Those who attended the prayer vigil feel the same way. They believe they will overcome this hard time.

Church members are meeting at their second location in Danville. Dudley confirms there are plans to rebuild the Cedar Avenue building.