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Storm damages historic church

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By Brent Schanding

Landmark News Service

One victim of last week's wind and rain was the historic Drennon Christian Church.

One corner of the church's roof was peeled back in the storm.

Despite the damage, the church did not cancel its Sunday services.

Workers draped a tarp across the hole that tore into the church's aluminum roof. The storm caused more than $17,000 in damages to insulation, rafters and dry walling, according to initial estimates from Homes Plus Construction, the contractor handling repairs.

"It looks like the steeple moved a half inch," church treasurer Dean Baugh said. "We've got to get some new metal. We had a pretty good mess. We're not sure to the whole extent."

Insurance will likely cover most of the damage to the church's upstairs Sunday school room, Sarah Golden, wife of the church's pastor said. The room serves elementary students from 1-9 years of age, and was hardest hit by the storm. Soaked insulation and other debris covered the room's hardwood floor Wednesday afternoon. Rain-spotted pictures, drawn by church children, clung to the walls as water continued to enter through the gaping hole in the roof last week.

Golden and her children surveyed the damage after the storm and had initially expected the worse.

"But I think we're going to be fine," Golden said Monday. "God's good. It could have been much worse."

The 146-year-old church, which averages about 20 attendees in the winter, was remodeled a few years ago with new carpet and new paint. Pews were also reupholstered and refurbished.

While most of those updates were spared, Baugh said high winds downed at least six trees on the property and caused other damages. Some trees fell on and around tombstones in the church's graveyard, where members were working to clear the mess.

Baugh said it's believed this is the first time storms have ever damaged the historic structure.

"If there's been any other wind damage, I'm not familiar with it until now," he said.

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