• Church put in jeopardy after thieves steal trailer

    By: Carl Willis


    BARROW COUNTY, Ga. - A local church is scrambling to recover after a thief stole vital equipment from a storage unit.

    Rev. Jared Mehrle founded Story Church in Barrow County to spread the word of God to the town of Bethlehem and Winder.

    Just two months in, however, his dream is experiencing a setback.

    "I'm not sure how we're going to be able to pull off services on Sunday right now," he said. "It's going to take time and Sunday morning is coming fast."

    The startup church uses two 6 by 12 V-nose Lark trailers to haul equipment.

    They were storing the equipment at Apalachee Self Storage in Winder for transport to Yargo Elementary School, where they currently hold services.

    Mehrle told Channel 2's Carl Willis someone broke into the storage lot and stole one of their trailers.

    The Barrow County Sheriff's Office said the break-in happened Sunday after service.

    "The trailers were hidden," said Mehrle. "Someone had to scout it and they busted in there with a pickup truck that could pull it. They had a trailer hitch."

    Mehrle said four units were broken into, but thieves only took the trailer.

    He said nearly all of the church's sound equipment, and its stage, along with everything from the communion trays to the crib for the youth ministry was taken.

    The pastor said there is hope that whoever stole this equipment will return items like their signs that have no resale value.

    The Goodwill located at 39 E May St. in Winder has agreed to offer their site as a place where thieves can leave any unwanted property.

    "Goodwill has said we will take those donations no questions asked and they'll get those items back to us as soon as possible," Mehrle told Willis.

    That may be a long shot, but with $12,000 to $13,000 worth of equipment missing, the pastor is praying for a miracle.

    He's also hoping that the community will visit their website and come to their aid.

    "We really moved here to bless the community and we're going to have to spend a lot of energy and resources on this as opposed to being a blessing to the community," said Mehrle.

    Mehrle said he is disappointed, but is keeping the faith in his neighbors.

    "We want to extend grace," he said. "We're not mad. We're just trying to figure out how we can pull off what we do in this situation."

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