The Zion Hill Baptist Church in Walnut Hills collapsed Sunday afternoon, just hours after the last Sunday morning service.
No one was inside at the time, and no one was hurt. District One Chief Anson Turley of the Cincinnati Fire Department said it looked like an earthquake hit the church on Lincoln Avenue, which was built in 1948.
Two-thirds of the rear portion of the building collapsed, he said, because of structural instability. The rest probably will have to be demolished. Rev. Carl McMullen and his family were the last to leave the church at around 1:30pm. Firefighters were called to the scene at 3:30pm.
The pastor and congregants were at first devastated, but soon rejoiced that there had been no loss of life. "Put it this way," Rev. McMullen told FOX19, "I think this is the best praise service we've had. We brought the roof down."
The pastor vows to hold Sunday services next week, but it's not clear where that will be.