A 76-year-old church building has been seriously damaged by a runaway semi truck wheel.
The Mount Grove AME Zion Church near Mount Gilead, North Carolina was damaged on Tuesday, November 10th, as an empty log truck drove by on Highway 73 and lost its wheel, sending the object crashing through the side of the building.
The church was built way back in 1944 and has since been converted from a timber building to a brick building. The congregation says it’s almost always in need of a little patching up, but nothing quite as serious as this.
Church member Jerry Dumas says that the tire initially bounced off the ground and through a brick wall, damaging much of the inside before flying out of a church window and coming to rest on the ground outside.
“I was like, oh my God, no one said if anyone was hurt or not, so I was just praying that no one was here at the church and got hurt because Jerry is normally here patching up something or doing something,” said church pastor, Rev. Renee Bethea to Fox News 8.
Luckily no one was inside of the building at the time of the incident.
“When I got here, I took my camera out and started taking pictures and I got right there and it was just a little bit too much. As a new pastor in the Greensboro district, you fall in love with your congregation, you fall in love with your little church building, and to see it torn up like this was just overwhelming,” Bethea said.
Now, the congregation is trying to figure out how they will pay for the repairs, hopeful that the trucking company will offer to help.
“I’m hoping that that person will come forward because this is devastating for us. We don’t have funds to make repairs like this,” Bethea said. “We’re just thankful that nobody got hurt. The building can be replaced, but people can’t be replaced.”
The incident is still under investigation and little is known about the log truck in question except it’s color – dark blue or black according to a nearby neighbor and church goer who was able to spot the truck as it drove by.
If you’d like to contribute to the Church’s rebuilding efforts, donations can be sent to: