Last Sunday, City Church in Homestead opened their worship service to the tune of Cream’s Sunshine of Your Love. The church had acquired a new, state-of-the-art soundboard, and it was the first time they’d used it to its full potential.
“My sound guy was so happy,” said Pastor Chris Coppolo.
This Sunday, music won’t be pouring from the speakers of the church, after $20,000 worth of sound equipment was stolen from its temple.
Church staff realized the soundboard, speakers and a couple microphones were missing Monday morning, and immediately called police. Police say there are no signs of forced entry. They took fingerprints and contacted local pawnshops.
“It’s disheartening. We feel very violated,” said Debbie Albert, who has attended the church for six years.
Coppolo said having their equipment stolen has been a hard hit because music is a very central part of their Sunday mornings.
“I’m a huge Led Zeppelin fan. We play everything from reggae to country here. Ozzy Osbourne, Crazy Train,” Coppolo said. “The lyrics are perfect. They reflect our broken world.”
He said it’s also a way of relating to the community and attracting new members.
“It’s how we outreach to the unchurched. It’s our way of saying, ‘we enjoy some of the things that you enjoy,’” Coppolo said.
Many of the members on the church’s band have advanced degrees in music performance, and at least one has won a Grammy Award.
Coppolo said the church welcomes “all walks of life,” and that someone could have come inside during the morning service to hide inside.
On Sundays, City Church serves free breakfast and also provides nutrition classes and other workshops free of charge.
“We really see our facility as a gift to the city,” Coppolo said. “We’re in an economically distressed area. When the church takes a hit like this, it hinders our ability to help the city.”
After the equipment was stolen, church leaders say they’ve had many people show compassion for whoever did it. They decided that they will not be pressing charges if the equipment is returned.
“We would see that as an act of repentance,” Coppolo said.
City Church is across the William F. Dickinson Community Center on Krome Avenue.