Snow causes church roof to collapse

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

MADISON TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19)  - Heavy snow and ice may be to blame for the disaster that hit the fellowship hall of the Poasttown First Church of God.

Butler County Sheriffs deputies said the roof of the building came crashing down just before 2:30p.m.

Jack Perry said he was walking near the church at the time.

"The shingles started shaking and the whole roof caved in," Perry said. "Insulation went everywhere."

Moments later, broken beams and pink insulation filled the gymnasium and the parking lot of the Church. Witnesses said it only took seconds for the A-frame roof to buckle.

The church was built by a former pastor's construction company about 12 years ago. Building inspectors said the building is most likely a total loss.

"I was just shook," Perry said. "I just stood there and looked at it, you know? And as soon as I realized what happened, I called Brother Tommy and let him know so he could call the Pastor and stuff and get him out here."

Pastor Kenny Brewer said he couldn't believe the news.

"I got a phone call from the chairman of the board. He told me we got some bad news. I said what? He said the roof of the gymnasium has caved in. I said you've got to be kidding me. "

Brewer said the building is usually filled with people so he feared the worst, but he said God heard his members' prayers. No one was injured.

"Thank God, no one was inside," Brewer said. "If this would have happened Wednesday night, when our children's church was in here. It could have been a terrible disaster."

The gym was recently rededicated as Wallace Hall. Pastor Brewer said the church hosts numerous community meals and events. A community breakfast was planned for Saturday. It's been postponed.

"{The building} is for the entire community," Brewer said. "A lot of community use this building so we'll get it fixed back and we'll go on."

The gym is a separate building from the sanctuary so members will still be able to hold services this Sunday.

Pastor Brewer said the church does have insurance to cover the cost of the damage.  He expected it to take several months before the building was repaired.

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