Church roof investigation may take months
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
February 23, 2010

Church roof investigation may take months

Church roof investigation may take months
Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor
February 23, 2010

It may be months before

investigators determine the cause of roof trusses collapsing Feb. 18 at Mount

Vernon Baptist Church in Clinton.

The incident killed one

construction worker and put two others in the hospital.

“There’s just a lot of

speculation as to what went wrong,” said Tony Rackley, chairman of the church’s

board of deacons. “It’s too early to tell. Any time you’re doing a building

project and there’s loss of life it’s sad.”

Rackley addressed the church

Feb. 21 during the worship service. There was special prayer time for the two

injured men and the family who lost a loved one.

“They’ve given the

contractors the green light to get in there and clear the trusses out,” Rackley

said Feb. 22 in a phone interview.

The new structure will

include a sanctuary, pastor’s study and several rooms that will be designated


When it is complete it will be connected to the other buildings on the

church’s campus.

The area that collapsed is where the cathedral ceiling is,

Rackley said.

The trusses on the flat ceiling part were not damaged, but there

was some minor exterior wall damage. The building and planning committee wants

to do something permanent to recognize the loss of life at the facility.

Rackley said it will most likely be a plaque.

“If I could choose a cause

to this I would pick the wind and move on,” Rackley said, indicating the

incident has been tough for all involved. “Your heart goes out to all of them.”

Rackley praised Clifton

Halso, the general contractor on the project, for his “50 years of impeccable

service. It’s very unfortunate for his company.”

Halso slipped into the

church over the weekend and left an envelope at the church. Halso made a

donation with a note thanking “the church for everybody being so nice and for

understanding,” Rackley said.

Rackley said the goal is to

finish building before the church’s 100th anniversary in October.

He’s thankful for all the


“I know just as soon as it happened I began to get calls from area

churches offering” to help, he said.