Lebanon church unites after steeple falls


LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – The steeple of God’s Missionary Church in Lebanon is still on the ground after it was blown off of the building during Wednesday’s storm.

But the church community came together to secure the building in time for services, Sunday School and Children’s Day, which volunteers had been preparing for months. 

“We’ve been doing this for years,” Simeon England said about celebrating Children’s Day at God’s Missionary Church. 

“It’s fun to act,” said Hannah England, who also attends God’s Missionary Church. 

So when the steeple on the church fell just days before their big performance, the kids were worried.

“We thought that we would not be having this today,” said Hannah England.

Wednesday night, the steeple blew over and rolled across the roof. 

It broke man-sized holes through the building, prompting water to pour inside. 

No one was injured, but there were tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

“It was shocking,” said Sam Dubendorf, who helped with cleanup. “I went inside and saw how much water was coming through the holes.”

Thirty volunteers came right in. 

“Pushing water out the door with a big floor mop,” said Dubendorf. 

The mission was to get the building secured, so services and Sunday school could go on as normal.

“We shored up one of the weak rafter ceilings so there wouldn’t be a risk of anything coming down on anybody,” said Pastor Alan Walter.

There was also the upcoming celebration of Children’s Day.

The kids have been practicing for their performance of “Your Special Gift” for months. 

“When they walk in, they immediately look up and see some of the ceiling missing,” said Walter.

Even though things looked a bit different, the show went on.

“My team worked so well with fans and sucking some of the water out that people were sitting on the chair and couch today that were soaking wet the other day,” said Walter.

“We got together and accomplished a lot in a short time,” said Dubendorf. 

A community came together for faith and kids and taught a lesson in the process. 

“We just want to help out,” said Hannah England. 

The insurance company inspected the damage to the building this weekend and the church expects to get estimates early next week.

Tuesday, the church has workers coming to determine if the steeple can be fixed or needs to be completely replaced. 

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