Church theft deals blow to Greenwood family


UPDATE: The stolen guitar was returned to the church following WTHR's broadcast of the story. See the update here.

GREENWOOD - It was a small crime, but it's making a huge impact on a Greenwood family.

Last week, thieves burglarized a Greenwood church. Now the pastor of that church is asking for help recovering one very special item.

The senior pastor at the Triumph Church, Stephen Schmidt, often keeps an eye on things. But it was when he paid a recent visit that he noticed something wasn't right.

"The guitar was missing, the amp was missing. Two computers here in the sound booth," he said.

Schmidt says sometime last Tuesday night someone broke into the Greenwood church by breaking a small window in the church basement. The window is still taped up, and there is still broken glass on the floor.

The thieves took musical instruments and equipment. It wasn't a huge loss except for one thing: a five-string bass guitar that belonged to Schmidt's son, Trent, who died in a car crash just four months ago.

"It's just another blow. That is really a gut-wrenching thing," said Rev. Schmidt.

On the walls of Schmidt's Greenwood home, there is a loving tribute to his second son. Trent followed in his father's footsteps as pastor of the Triumph Church until he answered another calling, this time to serve his country.

It was while he was home on leave, preparing for his next deployment that the 35-year-old Army sergeant was killed in a car crash on State Road 37.

"It takes a huge chunk out of your heart," said Schmidt.

The guitar was a gift from his mother, and like the mementos displayed in Schmidt's home, it was a way to keep him close.

"It was always there. It was like having his presence there," said Rev. Schmidt.

"You can't replace the value," he said.

Insurance will cover the church's loss and the window will be fixed. But the value of a cherished memory can never be replaced.

Greenwood Police are investigating. Pastor Schmidt is asking if you saw anything or know anything about the crime to contact them.