Pastor says thief is forgiven after $20K in donations stolen from church



Someone stole more than $20,000 in donations from an Ormond Beach church, officials said.

The pastor said that overnight, someone stole thousands from the Christmas offering at the Oasis Church on South Tymber Creek Road.

However, the pastor said church members have already forgiven the thief, saying the money is not that big a deal.

The church leaders don't even know for sure how the thief got into the building.

But somehow someone did get in, broke into an upstairs office and stole the small safe.

At the Oasis Church, Christmas is typically the busiest time of the year.

Church members are preparing for a special program on Christmas Eve.

The pastor said the church took an offering Sunday, which was much larger than most offerings because of the time of year.

When church staff arrived Monday morning they found the office had been broken into and the safe containing the money was gone.

But the church has a unique take on this: The pastor said members are not concerned about the money, they want the thief to know he or she is forgiven.

"To the person who took the money: We know this is a symptom of a lot bigger issue they're dealing with in their life, probably some brokenness there. For us as a church, our message would be one of love and forgiveness," said Pastor Drew Powell.

The theft has been reported to police, but Powell said pressing charges is not a priority.

Church members would rather help the person and even have him or her as part of the church.