A church in Arlington may have already had a Christmas miracle on Sunday, when the roof collapsed in the middle of service. Nikki Burdine got a look at the destruction and has more on what happened and what's next.
At church, sermons can often take on different meanings. "His message was, 'we all have angels around us, we don't know who they are where they are,'" says Stanley Kendall, the Vice Chair of the Trustee Board for the Lomax African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. During the 11:00 service, the message was coming to an end, when something else got the congregation's attention. "First we heard some rattling cracking, it sounded like it might have been sleet," says Kendall.
Just as the cracks were beginning to form, members of the choice and the pastor were able to rush out of the church and get to safety. Amazingly, no one was hurt. "Everything just came crashing down, dust and debris just came gushing outward," remembers Kendall. The only casualties were material things, except one that couldn't be missed, and the meaning, impossible to overlook. "The cross is still intact," says Kendall.
Firefighters responded, giving the all-clear for no structural damage to the building built in 1922, and no real cause, either. "It was apparently just an act of nature. Mother Nature and Father Time had taken its toll," says Kendall.
Although service won't be held here anytime soon, "It doesn't matter where it is," says Kendall. "It's just what's being said. God blesses us wherever we are." The meaning is still the same, whether it's inside the church or not.
Kendall says they will get contractors out to the church to assess the damage and determine a cost for repairs as soon as possible. If you'd like to donate to the church to help fix the roof, you can do so by calling them at (703) 979-3738.