Man accused of robbing Martha Bowman Church was a member

One of the men arrested in connection with last week’s burglary of Martha Bowman United Memorial Methodist Church was a church member, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.

Capt. Mike Smallwood said Matthew Patrick Brown, 21, was a church member, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the overnight Thursday burglary was an inside job.

“It just means he was familiar with the church,” he said.

Smallwood said neither 19-year-old Matthew Steven Scroggins nor a 16-year-old boy, whose name has not been released, have ties to the church.

Brown, Scroggins and the 16-year-old are charged with burglary and vandalism of a place of worship.

Deputies have said additional arrests are possible, but Lt. George Meadows said no additional suspects were arrested Tuesday in connection with the burglary.

Vandals broke into locked rooms through Sheetrock walls and stole safes, cash, musical instruments, electronic equipment, laptop computers and computer monitors.

Barry Bissonette, chairman of the church’s board of trustees, said repairs already have begun at the church.

The church doors and vehicles already have been re-keyed and a Sheetrocking crew is patching holes, he said.

Bissonette said it’s his goal for the other building repairs to be complete by the middle of next week.

He declined to comment when asked about Brown’s church membership.

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 746-9441 or Macon Regional CrimeStoppers at (877) 68 CRIME.

Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.