Steeple Knocked Off Church Rebuilt After April 27

RAINSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A DeKalb County church that needed nearly a year to rebuild after April 27, 2011, got another big storm scare Monday afternoon.

Victory Baptist Church has a couple tarps on the roof, but was largely spared.

One of the church deacons, Calvin Thomas, said there is an ordination service scheduled for Saturday evening, but a phone call Monday made him fear it would be canceled.

“They said ‘have you been at the church?’ and I was just here an hour before it happened.”

The voice on the other end told him “Your steeple has been torn off.”

“Oh my heart hit my feet, what a year ago, a little more than a year, we moved into the building, and last thing I want to hear is that the storms hit it again,” Thomas said.

One of the April 2011 tornadoes destroyed the church.  In September 2011, volunteers built the exterior of a new church in three days, and it reopened March 31, 2012.

During construction, church services were in an empty storefront by a bowling alley.

“You don’t have to have a steeple to have a church, we proved that,” Thomas said.

“We did it in a store building.  I’m okay with it.  I’m smiling.”

Bigger and better than the one that got wiped out April 27, the toppled steeple was the only significant damage.  The wind shifted columns on the front porch, there’s some roof damage, but a couple water spots and a small ceiling crack are all that’s noticeable inside.

“My relief that there wasn’t more damage was tremendous because when they said there’s holes in the roof, the steeples gone, I thought of damage to the windows, the side of the building, the structure of the building.  The relief was great,” Thomas said.

He said he doesn’t view what happened as a sign.

I think we’re strong in our faith.  I think we can look at this and say we’re thankful because there were signs that the winds were so strong that there could have been more damage.   It looked like we were in God’s care even though we received some damage,” he said.

Insurance agents came by Tuesday morning, and Thomas said he talked with the manufacturer of the steeple to make arrangements for a new one.

“I was joking with [a sales representative] a little while ago,.and I told him what we were going to do was put a steeple up, and during tornado season take it down, and then put it back up.  Or maybe we could hinge that,” he said with a laugh.
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