Man charged with stealing from, and threatening a church in Houston, Mo

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HOUSTON, Mo A Houston Missouri man is accused of threatening, then stealing from a church.

55 year old Perry J. Mace is charged with harassment.

Over the weekend, the pastor of Faith Fellowship church in Houston found some Facebook posts from Mace that alarmed him and his congregation.

The church operates a fireworks stand every year, and last week it was vandalized.

Someone sent the pastor a screenshot of a Facebook post of Mace posing with one of the banners that was stolen from the stand.

"He was obviously fired up over us selling fireworks, that was what the deal was over." said Bill Villapiano, pastor of the Faith Fellowship church. "We were giving 10 percent off of the fireworks, and he thought we were defiling the tithe."

Then the threats towards the church began on social media.

"In this particular case, you could see it escalating. And by the time it got to Friday night, we have seen too many tragedies in this country. And I was determined not to be the guy who sees something online and not report it." said Villapiano.

On Saturday night, the church had a youth event.

And Mace made an unwanted appearance.

"He comes tootling in on his motorcycle, and at first I'm like, surely that's not him." said Villapiano. "He is really trying to provoke us now. We need to do something."

So the church got a restraining order against Mace, and had an officer stay in the parking lot overnight.

But police say the threats on social media continued the next morning.

Mace decided to show up for church, despite two highway patrol vehicles following him the entire way.

"He didn't realize there were four other law enforcement vehicles in the parking lot. He didn't get all the way into the parking lot before they had him stopped, secured, handcuffed, without incident." said Villapiano.

Mace is jailed on a 500 thousand dollar bond.

Villapiano praised law enforcement for their help keeping all of the members of the church safe.