° empty

Pastor terrified during church burglary

VIDALIA — The Rev. Ronald Hall woke up to a strange noise after 3 a.m. Monday and found the source of the noise to be more alarming than he imagined.

Hall is the pastor of Faith Tabernacle Pentecostal Church and also lives in a small apartment connected to the church.

“I heard a noise, and it kind of woke me up and then I heard it again, so I got up to see what it was,” Hall said. “When I walked through my bathroom into the office, there was just this guy not but three or four feet from me standing there going through my desk and everything.”

Hall later discovered the man had broken a window on the side of the church and made his way to Hall’s office, where he managed to find a few dollars while ransacking a desk.

“I said, ‘What are you doing here?’ and he said, ‘Well, what are you doing here?’” Hall said. “It terrified me to walk in and see some man just standing there, because you don’t know what his intentions are or what he’s capable of.

“If he’d had a gun, he could have shot and killed me.”

The conversation between the two was brief as Hall immediately stepped back and pulled the door through which he entered shut.

“I dead bolted the door and told him I was calling the law,” Hall said. “I ran into my bedroom and called 911.”

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy David Hedrick said deputies and investigators responded to the church at approximately 3:43 a.m. and began searching the area for evidence.

“Our investigators are actively working the case,” Hedrick said. “This is very much an ongoing investigation.”

Hall said the situation gave him quite the scare initially, but he’s also glad it didn’t escalate further.

“He only ended up getting $40, but if you look at it in the sense that no one got hurt, we were fortunate and blessed,” Hall said. “All things considered, it was minimal compared to what it could have been.”