In the early morning hours of April 26, 2018 darkness and heavy fog enveloped the Church and these adjacent highways. The Pastor was sitting in the sanctuary reading his Bible 20 feet from the foyer of the Church. Suddenly, without warning, there was a violent exploding sound in the foyer shaking the entire building. Pastor Lee ran through scattered debris inside and outside of the Church entrance trying to comprehend what had happened, all the while continuously praying. The lingering fog limited his visibility but it soon became apparent that two vehicles had collided at our intersection. A pickup truck (south bound on St. Rt. 235) and a box truck (west bound on US. Rt. 6) had collided. Pastor called 911, prayed for the injured and ran to try and slow down and stop oncoming traffic from the west to avoid a pile up and also make way for emergency support vehicles. An impressive variety of emergency services responded quickly and masterfully. The young man in the nearly unrecognizable pickup truck was in a coma with life threatening injuries. He was extracted from the truck and airlifted to a nearby hospital for extended critical care and rehab services. Amazingly the two men in the box truck reportedly received minor injuries (the driver had a broken arm) and were taken by ambulance to a local hospital ER, treated and released shortly thereafter. Survival of everyone, including the Pastor, was indeed God’s mercy and grace!
Seeing both vehicles in the morning light was a chilling site. As the various emergency personnel began to put the clues together a series of events became apparent. The pickup and the delivery trucks had collided going through the intersection of 6 and 235. The pickup truck, driving south on St. Rt. 235, had stopped shortly after impact, on the NW corner of the roadside berm of Rt. 6 The delivery truck was west bound on St. Rt. 6 when the collision occurred. This vehicle then proceeded through the Church yard, ricocheted off the flagpole, crashed into the front of the Church, ripped off the entire entrance/foyer of the building, causing serious structural damage to the support beams and walls before careening into the parking lot, totaling the Pastor’s car and proceeding several hundred yards through the Church property where the nose of the truck entered a ditch, bringing the truck abruptly to a stop.
A local friend and contractor Leland Zimmerman came quickly to volunteer his expertise, skills and assistance. He, along with the Pastor, worked to remove all of the debris in order to get to the seriously damaged structural beams. Once these beams were reinforced the inner entrance to the Church was secure. It would be several weeks for this to be rebuilt so that the Church could safely resume normal functions.
It is now 10 months post the accident during which the Pastor has repaired and restored as much of the damage that existing funds would allow. He can go no further without financial help. The driver of the pickup, though cited, had no insurance, Neither was the Church insured for this type of damage. In addition, the big box truck (that did all the Church property damage was not legally responsible for the damage.
We have come to you through Paypal to ask for your help to complete the Church repairs/renovations. The existing roof was in need of repair and with this assault and the high winds of February 13-14, 2019, replacement before the rainy season has become critical. In addition, funds are needed for:
- Construction of a new entrance
- Replacement of the existing warped and damaged inner doors
- Installation of additional aluminum siding
- Resurfacing of yard damage
- Installation of a new flagpole
- The remaining inside work includes painting, carpeting, installing new railings and a handicap ramp.
If you would like to be involved in this restoration project you can do so through prayer and/or financial donation through Paypal. It would really be a blessing if you would contact us if you have questions or need for prayer (419-601-5385). Prayer is what we are all about. We are ever mindful that the building is not the Church. The people are the Church.
It is with a grateful heart that I thank you for considering our request.
Pastor H. L. Hill