Church damaged by storm

Church damaged by storm
By: Arnold Wyrick
Goreville, IL - The forces of nature can be very destructive in the way it twist and turns things during a storm.  But sometime the damage isn't noticed until later.   That's what happened in Goreville to the First United Methodist Church.
The damage started out small.  And only got worse the deeper they looked.
"There some cracks that started appearing in the sanctuary up in the ceiling drywall.  And we were thinking that perhaps it was a foundation issue.  And that maybe the church was settling on the West side," says Dennis Carlson Chairman of Trustees.
In fact the church was settling, except it was settling from the roof down.  An inspection by an engineer quickly revealed the problem.
"Now at first there was only one or two.  But within a week 38 of the 45 vertical trusses were snapped.  But not only were they snapped, but they were separated by two to three inches," Carlson said.
So the church called in a repair crew to begin rebuilding their sanctuary from the inside, out.  And it all started when a storm passed over Goreville a week and a half ago.
"What happened was a micro-burst had actually come and picked up the roof and sat it back down again," Carlson said.
But the damaged roof caused the walls to begin to bulge and the stained glass windows in them to crack.
"Those came from the original church that stood on this property.  And they're valued at nearly a hundred thousand dollars.  They were built for the first church on this site back in 1909.  And we found that when we went to remove them, that when were installed in this building 25 years ago that some of the frame around the window was glued to the glass," Carlson said.
The total damage estimate to the church hasn't been figured up at this time.  And according to the engineer that examined the building, it could take several weeks, if not months to repair.
In the meantime the church will meet in their fellowship hall.  But unfortunately they had to cancel their Vacation Bible School scheduled for this week, because the classes would've been held in the basement of the damaged sanctuary.