News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Facebook hacking happens a lot, but you'd think a hacker would draw the line at a pastor's Facebook page.
David Willis, Steven Creek Community Church's teaching pastor, had his marriage-dedicated Facebook page hacked.
"For me, I've read his posts every single day," said Trends Salon Owner Robyn Kelley. "My husband does as well."
Kelley, along with about 270,000 Facebook followers, were shocked when Pastor Dave Willis' Stronger Marriage page was hacked.
"It's really crazy," said Kelley, a church member and Facebook subscriber.
Willis started this page only a year ago, and in the last three months, it went viral.
"It's been an overwhelming response and I've been humbled by it," Willis said.
But last week, his faith was tested after getting a message from what he thought was the Facebook security team.
"It looked like a very official, legitimate message," Willis explained. "And I clicked on it and it directed me to a page that looked exactly like my login screen. It said, you know, we need you to fill out a form."
Little did he know he was giving the hacker his password. Then, that same hacker locked him out of both his personal and the marriage page. He thought they were both deleted.
"I was really upset because I thought, 'Man, there are so many people that are encouraged by this page, and now for it to disappear,'" Willis said.
But it didn't disappear. The hacker was running the page, pretending to be Willis. That's when he decided it was time to get the word out, and the community began to plead with the hacker.
"I knew that Dave would forgive him, so I made a comment and just said, 'Hey, give the page back, Dave will forgive you completely. But just do the right thing,'" Kelley said.
And in this rare case, it worked. Thanks to the community's response, the hacker gave the page back.
"Even if I wouldn't never gotten the page back, I would still have that overwhelming sense of gratitude," Willis said.