A car accident Feb. 23 caused a vehicle to crash through the front doors of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Supply, N.C., and into the sanctuary about 30 minutes before their weekly prayer meeting.
The vehicle burst through the front doors, taking out pews and the majority of the left side of the sanctuary, before hitting the front of the altar, driving it back several feet.
The driver sustained minor injuries, but no other individuals were harmed as no one was in the sanctuary at the time of the accident.
Jessie Mooney Jr., pastor of Mt. Pisgah Baptist, said he is grateful the accident took place just minutes before people would have been in the sanctuary for their weekly prayer service.
“It’s very fortunate that no one was here,” Mooney said. “I’ve never seen anything like it and nobody else had either.”
According to local media reports, a vehicle was trying to make a left-hand turn and struck the vehicle that went through the church from behind.
Mooney added a truck failed to stop at a stop sign before hitting the back of the SUV. The driver of the SUV became disoriented and drove over the front steps, hit a column near the front of the church and straight through the front doors.
He told Baptist Press although the damage to the church is disappointing, the situation could have been much worse.
“Everyone is just kind of heartbroken that the building itself was destroyed, but they’re very thankful that no one was hurt,” Mooney said. “I told everyone, ‘People are what’s important. We thank the Lord that no one was hurt because the building can be repaired.’
“We’ll work together and we’ll work through this. God will get the glory, and He’s going to help us get through it.”
As church members began arriving at the church for the prayer meeting, the group met in the fellowship hall, another building on the church’s property.
The group prayed over the situation and discussed immediate actions steps to take.
Mooney said volunteers from the church assisted the fire department with cleanup efforts both Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The volunteers helped move out larger sound equipment and instruments such as the piano and removed smaller objects like the hymnals to aid with cleanup.
The church’s plan is to meet for worship on Sunday morning in the fellowship hall. Because a local school uses the building during the week, volunteers will have to help take down the church’s chairs and set up on Sunday night.
Mooney said the first steps related to repairing the sanctuary will be connecting with insurance, both the church’s and the insurance of the truck driver at fault, and forming a committee to oversee the reconstruction of the sanctuary.
“We just think God is going to do something good out of this, and we’re just going to trust him,” Mooney said.
“This is where Romans 8:28 means so much to us. That all things work together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes. So we can thank Him that no one was injured, and we’ll just need to work together, pray together and stay together as we go through this and be a witness to our community.”
Mooney said prayers from fellow Southern Baptists would be a blessing to the church.
“Pray for wisdom through the process and that God will be glorified and His will done,” Mooney said. “We just think God is going to do something good out of this, and we’re just going to trust Him.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Timothy Cockes is a Baptist Press staff writer.)