ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Sunday service and outreach measures will continue at Atlantic City's Victory First Presbyterian Deliverance Church despite multiple break-ins and damage to the church.
"In two weeks, we've been burglarized three times," said Pastor Charles Lyles. "The first time we were like 'why would they do this?' It was a little frightening for us because we were like, 'why are people taking from the church, the church that's good to the community?'"
Pastor Lyles said the first incident happened when someone broke into a back door and ransacked the church office. Days later, multiple TVs were stolen from the sanctuary.
During the most recent break-in, kitchen and pantry items were stolen.
"To defame a church, it puts a dagger especially in the pastor's heart who works in the community," said Lonniyell Sykes who attends the church.
Pastor Lyles says this will not stop the small church from its mission of giving back, but it fuels the members to do more.
"We've had a lot of promises from friends, from city officials, that say they're going to help us replace everything we lost. That makes you feel good," said Pastor Lyles. "I think we're encouraged now to keep doing what we're doing. On the other side of this, you want to retaliate, press charges, but we want lives changed."
The pastor believes the vandalism stems from a newly vacant building that connects to the church. They are working to put cameras all around the church.
Atlantic City police will also help monitor the location with routine and hourly patrols.