By Cady Kuzmich
SCHENECTADY — While there’s no good time to have your car stolen, early Sunday morning ranks among the worst possible times in the eyes of a pastor.
Two family cars were stolen from the home of Pastor Dwight Moore on Pinewood Avenue in Schenectady early Sunday morning, leaving him scrambling to find a way to the Clifton Park Assembly of God Church before his scheduled morning service. To make matters worse, Moore often picks up churchgoers along the way.
“We figured it out but it wasn’t easy,” said Moore, who has been the pastor at Clifton Park Assembly of God Church for nearly 30 years.
Moore said his family’s 2006 Honda CRV and 2004 Ford Freestar minivan were stolen from his home in Schenectady. Though the Ford had over 200,000 miles on it, Moore said it was still in good shape. One vehicle was sitting at the curb in front of his house while the other was in the driveway, according to Moore.
The pastor said there’s a very limited window of time the cars could have been stolen since they had friends over late Saturday evening until about 1 a.m. Sunday and Moore had to get up to drive his daughter to her early shift at Price Chopper at 4:30 in the morning. By the time he woke up, the cars were gone.
Dwight and Rachel Moore have lived in their Pinewood Avenue home with their six children for more than 20 years. The Moores have been hosting a young man from Nigeria named Oscar, as well. With their children now grown, Moore said Oscar is the “solution to our empty nest. He’s been a real blessing.”
In addition to their work with the church, Dwight Moore drives a school bus for the Shenendehowa Central School District and Rachel Moore cleans homes.
Though Moore is hopeful that his family’s cars will be found, police have told him stolen vehicles are usually found within a day or two of being stolen, if they are going to be found.
A family friend, Kathleen Petrie Mancuso, started a Go Fund Me page Monday to help the Moore family. By Wednesday afternoon, 56 people had raised nearly $5,000 from donations as large as $500 and as small as $10. The fundraising goal listed on the Go Fund Me page is $15,000.
Until they find their cars or raise the money to replace them, Moore said nearby families have offered to let them borrow their vehicles. “It’s been such a gracious outpouring. It’s hard to express how grateful we are,” he said.
Moore said it would be nice to be able to retrieve some of the things he had in the cars that were stolen. “I had some of my equipment for church in my van. We have outdoor summer meetings and I’ve been transporting stuff back and forth from church to these meetings. That’s presented a problem,” he said. “I’m praying something good happens out of something bad.”
“We have one young couple that lives out of state [who has donated to the Go Fund Me page]. I know some of the challenges they’re going through and I feel bad even taking money from them because I know they’ve got their own challenges. It’s humbling,” he said.
Reach Gazette reporter Cady Kuzmich at 269-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.