In small towns like Lewis, Iowa, the lifeblood of their community is often found inside the doors of their church. For the small, but strong and faithful fellowship at the United Congregational Methodist Church of Lewis, it's been a sad and frustrating few days.

Lewis United Congregational Methodist Church, Facebook
Lewis United Congregational Methodist Church, Facebook

The bell attached to the beautiful, welcoming sign in front of this place of worship was stolen and is reportedly still missing. Some thug or group of them found it upon themselves to nab the 400-pound symbol of faith from its monument by literally detaching it from its bolts and running (more like driving) off with it and it was a heartbreaking moment for the first person to see it missing.

Denise Knudsen said

I pulled into the parking lot and I said oh my goodness that's a big hole

Needless to say, at age 84, Bob Jobe has been with the church for many, many years and had an emotional response in an interview with Omaha's KETV:

Thou shalt not steal. So why can't people live by that?

Me writing that out simply can't do justice to the emotion felt in Jobe's response, so catch a video report from KETV here. You can cut to Jobe's response quickly, at about 20 seconds in.

The church offered a $5,000 reward for the return of the church bell, or any information on who took it. Church member Rob Stamp pitched in the first $2,500 and the rest came from other church members. They believe the theft took place between last Friday night and Saturday morning. Pastor Jerry Neal, while sad and angry like the rest of his congregants, is also offering forgiveness.

There is forgiveness for those who ask, but they need to repent and restore to those who receive that

Bob Jobe had one final comment for the thieves:

I might use a few words that shouldn't be on television but I'd like to catch the son of a (expletive) who took it

The church is located at 401 1st Street in Lewis, in west-central Iowa.

Who could snatch something so meaningful from such a sweet and passionate, close-knit group of people? For those who can give any type of answer to that question, contact the Cass County Sheriff's office at (712)243-2206.

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