Are you still a Christian?
Here are seven more reasons to change your mind before it’s too late!
Baptist Church In Georgia Gutted By Fire Started By Lightning (July 26) - According to the Statesboro Herald, "Thunderstorms bringing lightning and strong winds over the past few days downed trees and limbs, caused minor property damage and resulted in a fire caused by a lightning strike Monday that damaged a southeastern Bulloch County church.
"Lawrence Baptist Church, on Jones Road, off Lawrence Church Road, suffered heavy damage to the sanctuary and smoke damage elsewhere in the building, according to reports.
"The church fire was the worst damage the storms caused, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn.
"‘We believe (the lightning strike) came in through the steeple,’ he said. The fire was reported around 6 p.m. Monday, and although several fire departments responded ‘with 17 pieces of machinery and 52 firefighters,’ the sanctuary could not be saved, he said.
"However, two social halls were spared, he said. [Evidence that Jesus prefers partying to preaching?]
"The church is an older wood-frame building that was bricked up, ‘a beautiful little church,’ Wynn said. But it had plenty of heart pine, which is highly flammable, in the attic.
"Responding firefighters said they heard the rafters and heart pine wood ‘popping,’ and while they did everything they could, the fire raged out of control and burned that portion of the church, he said....
"The evening thunderstorms over the past few days have brought wind, hail, and rain to the county, as well as lightning, Wynn said. But the strike to the church is the only one reported to have caused damage."...
Thunderbolt Knocks Baptist TV Station In Mississippi Off The Air (July 26) - According to HattiesburgAmerican.com, "Comcast Cable channel 6, the First Baptist Church of Hattiesburg channel, will be off the air for several days.
"‘We were struck by lightning this weekend,’ said Sean Grizzle, media associate for First Baptist Church. ‘Hopefully we'll be back up by the weekend.’
"The channel airs taped church services as well as locally produced shows such as ‘Southern Sketches,’ with Hattiesburg artist and First Baptist Church media director Anthony Thaxton."
Episcopal Church In West Virginia Damaged By Storm (July 29) - According to Maryland’s Herald-Mail.com website, "BUNKER HILL, West Virgina: Strong wind gusts on Thursday night ripped off a large section of the green metal roof of Christ Church, one of Berkeley County's oldest Episcopal houses of worship.
"‘I am deeply saddened that Christ Church, Bunker Hill, has again been damaged by natural or human disasters,’ W. Michie Klusmeyer, the Bishop of the Episcopal Church of West Virginia, said Friday after surveying the damage at the church off Runnymeade Road.
"We continue to be committed to restoring it ... our insurance company is fast on track to protect the building from any further damage from its most recent situation,’ Klusmeyer said.... [Am I the only one who thinks it mighty odd for a church to insure itself against acts of gOd?]
"[Firefighter Brian] Golliday said he had a hard time believing the wind was able to carry such a large section of Christ Church's roof, along with spouting and timbers, more than 50 yards in the air before landing in a crumpled pile next to tombstones dating to the 1700s. [So maybe an angry divinity helped it along, eh? What other possible explanation could there be??]
"A window over the entrance to the church also was blown out by the wind. [Mighty suggestive, isn’t it?]
"Christ Church was built in 1851 on the site where Episcopalians first gathered in 1740. Col. Morgan Morgan, considered to be the first settler in what now is West Virginia, was credited for establishing the first church, and the current structure is believed to be at least the third to be built on the site, according to Don C. Wood, president of the Berkeley County Historical Society.
"In the last 15 years, two fires have damaged the church, and open windows allowed pigeons to wreck the sanctuary with droppings."...
[According to Matthew 10:29, a sparrow can’t fall without gOd knowing it. Can pigeons wreck a sanctuary without his approval? Explain.]
New Hampshire Storm Topples Steeple Of Historic Congregationalist Church</a> (July 30) - According to the Boston Globe and the Associated Press, "PORTSMOUTH, NH: Yellow caution tape blocked off Pleasant Street in Market Square yesterday, as onlookers snapped pictures of the historic North Church, which lost its new spire Friday night during a sudden thunderstorm.
"Officials do not know whether it was wind, lightning, or both that caused the spire to fall and sent scaffolding plummeting more than 100 feet to the street below. No one was hurt from the collapse, but the scaffolding crushed some cars.
"Gloria Wennberg was closing a walking tour and visitor information booth in the lively square Friday evening as the thunderstorms quickly approached the area. ["Surely I come quickly" - Jesus, Rev. 22:20.]
"It was not until she awoke yesterday morning that she learned what had happened to Portsmouth's landmark church.
"‘It was definitely a shock,’ Wennberg said yesterday from the tour booth across the street from the Congregational church, which dates to the 1850s. [I suppose one might even call it a wake-up call, eh, Gloria? Are you listening??]
"The lower portion of the church steeple, which is being renovated, was not damaged. The old spire was removed two weeks ago, but the storm knocked down what had recently replaced it, according to Jameson French, chairman of the Market Square Steeple Fund Advisory Committee.
"While construction crews worked on the roof yesterday, Antonio Peppers, who was sitting at a cafe on Congress Street, said he thought it was ironic that men had put up the scaffold, but nature brought it down.
"‘It was God that brought the storm through here,’ said Peppers, 46, of Portsmouth. ‘God bless that nobody got hurt.’"...
[DOH! I bet Peppers would find a silver lining in Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction, too.]
According to an Aug 3 follow-up story posted by New Hampshire’s Union Leader, "About $100,000 worth of donations have poured into the North Church's restoration fund since its steeple was toppled in a storm last Friday, but none of that money is expected to go toward replacing the lost spire.
"Instead, the money is for an ongoing $1.5 million restoration of the church, while insurance is expected to cover the cost of replacing the steeple, which was brought down by high winds amid the storm last week.
"The steeple's destruction, and its ensuing media attention, has energized church officials and attracted donors from across the state - including Gov. John Lynch, who spoke here yesterday in support of the fundraising drive.
"‘I urge everybody in New Hampshire to contribute along with me to restoring the Market Square steeple,’ Lynch said at a news conference yesterday in the square....
"Community support has run high since the steeple fell, said church Rev. Dawn Shippee, giving the bad situation a silver lining.
"‘All the reasons people live in Portsmouth has been very clear in the last week,’ she said of the generosity. ‘The impact of the spire being gone has allowed people to go, "Wow, that's what it would look like without the steeple."’
"That strong winds, rather than lightning, brought down the steeple also led to an outpouring of support for the church's restoration, Pettis said. [Because lightning is a clearer sign of gOd’s wrath??]
"The extra $100,000 in donations raised the church's total fundraising campaign to more than $500,000, out of the total $1 million needed. Another $500,000 was raised by the church's congregation last year.
"Before the steeple's fall, about $400,000 had been raised for the church's restoration since February of last year.
"Media attention and Lynch's appearance are expected to continue to fuel donations to the restoration fund, which church officials hope will meet its goal by the end of the year. The ongoing restorations and renovations are expected to be completed by year end as well, barring any delays."
[I guess these "Let’s poke a stick in gOd’s eye" people would have eagerly rushed to rebuild the Tower of Babel, too!]
Lightning Topples Cross From Atop Michigan Church, Starts Fire (July 31) - According to the Ironwood Daily Globe, "WAKEFIELD: Wakefield's Immaculate Conception Church is temporarily closed after sustaining fire and water damage after its steeple was struck by lightning early Saturday.
"Mary LaMaide called the fire in at 5:15 a.m. after smelling smoke.
"‘My husband said someone was burning something,’ she said. ‘I said they couldn't be burning because it's raining outside.’
"LaMaide and her family were spending the night at her husband, Gavin's, family home, due east of the church.
"Wakefield firefighters used the electric department's boom truck to reach the steeple. The 5-foot cross atop the spire later fell, breaking the windshield on the truck, according to city lead man John Granato. [A warning to all those who try to frustrate gOd’s will??]
"The Lake Gogebic Volunteer Fire Department brought its ladder truck under the region's mutual aid agreement, Granato said.
"‘Until further notice, Masses will be held in Father Daniel Hall,’ said parish priest the Rev. James Roetzer.
"‘We're bringing a crew in from Washburn, Wis.,’ said Candie Frank, of ServiceMaster of Ironwood. Frank was at Immaculate Conception assessing damage and mapping a strategy to clean up the mess.
"Water was still dripping to the floor of the sanctuary at mid-morning, and the church smelled of smoke. Frank said a breaker tripped during an attempt at restoring electrical power, further complicating the clean-up effort. [Remember - if gOd’s in control, there are no coincidences!]
"The church and steeple had been reroofed a year ago. A construction lift was parked near the church Saturday and preparations had begun to weatherproof the building.
"The fire wasn't the worst in the history of the church. A 1909 fire razed the original church, which was replaced by the brick structure that now stands at the corner of Pierce and Ascherman streets."...
Lightning Sets Catholic Church’s Steeple On Fire In Wisconsin (Aug 3) - According to Janesville, Wisconsin’s GazetteExtra.com, "DELAVAN: A lightning strike Wednesday evening set fire to the 140-foot steeple above the bell tower of St. Andrew's Catholic Church.
"Delavan's Matthew Olson reported the fire about 6:10 p.m.
"‘I was coming back from the grocery store and saw smoke billowing out of the top of the steeple,’ Olson said.
"He called 911 to report the fire then ran to see if anyone was inside. The doors to the church were locked, so he ran to the nearby St. Andrew's School.
"Volunteers and school staff were inside and hurried to the church to save any items they could.
"They were able [to] save the crucifix on the altar, the Eucharist, wine and challises, said Melody Shanahan, who was in the school with other volunteers.
"‘Then we blew out the candles and got the heck out,’ she said.
"The city of Delavan fire department had help from the town of Delavan, Darien, Elkhorn and Walworth.
"About 70 firefighters were on the scene, said Assistant Fire Chief Tim O'Neill, who also is a parishioner at the church and city police chief [Hmmm, can a Christian police chief "turn the other cheek" and "resist not evil" as Jesus demanded? Perhaps he’s the reason the church got zapped!] The fire was under control in about an hour, he said.
"‘Whenever it is a place of worship that is on fire it's always sad for somebody, whether it's me or somebody else,’ O'Neill said. [So is it a happy time for everyone when a house or business burns?? Maybe it’s this sort of attitude that drew gOd’s wrath!]
"Fire crews were able to contain the blaze to the steeple area above the bell tower, O'Neill said. They climbed over the bell tower to battle the blaze from the inside while engines poured water and foam onto the shingled roof.
"Two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion. [Perhaps a taste of the hellfire they’re destined for if they keep frustrating the will of gOd?] One was hospitalized but released a short time later.
"Water and smoke damage was limited to the areas in the steeple, parts of the build directly below the steeple and the front entry.
"The main body of the church and the choir balcony were not damaged, O'Neill said.
"But fire officials fear that damage inside the steeple makes the structure susceptible to toppling. Two crane operators examined the steeple Wednesday night but didn't believe their equipment was big enough to safely remove it, said Bob Ludowise, Delavan fire inspector.
"‘Our chief concern was the steeple falling into the church and then lighting the church (on fire),’ O'Neill said. [Oh, ye of little faith!]
"Fire officials also were concerned the steeple would fall east onto a power line that supplies electricity to much of Delavan's north side, O'Neill said.
"The large, copper cross that tops the steeple is another reason for worry. [Indeed!] Fire officials aren't sure if its hollow or solid and don't know how much it weighs. [Can you really be a good Christian and know so little about the cross?]
"The plan for today was to bring in two large cranes to remove the cross and assess how much of the steeple needs to come down, Ludowise said.
"The Rev. Brian Holbus said the congregation of about 600 will rally to have the steeple rebuilt. [DOH!]
"‘We'll be selling a lot of cupcakes, tamales and fish fries,’ he said. [Sounds like a combination you might find on Hell’s Menu, doesn’t it?]
"Holbus said he always worried about a fire inside the church caused by a toppled candle, not from a lightning strike.
"‘You always worry in an old church like this that something is going to burn, but not like this,’ Holbus said. [So, churches DO increase worry!]
"St. Andrew's was renovated 11 years ago for its 100th birthday.
"The church was empty when the bolt hit, although a Spanish prayer group was about to start a meeting inside the nearby rectory." [Hmmmm... Pretty suggestive, isn’t it? And just think of all the disasters that befell the US and the world before organized school prayer was banned by the Supreme Court in 1963!] ....
Iowa Catholic Church Leveled By Storm</a> (Aug 3) - According to the Des Moines Register, "A century-old church in Cherokee County lost the battle with strong winds and rain Tuesday night.
"Maryhill Catholic Church outside Meriden was leveled by winds that reached up to 90 mph.
"‘All that's left is the basement,’ Dave Skou, communication center supervisor for the sheriff's department, said of the church. [Apparently the closer you are to Satan during a storm, the better!]
"Maryhill Catholic Church was founded in 1892, but burned down 12 years later after it was struck by lightning. [Yet another church subject to multiple warnings!] It was rebuilt and reopened in 1905.
"‘There's not much point in rebuilding it. The population out here is dwindling,’ the Rev. Gene Sitzmann said. Meriden has about 190 residents.
"Sitzmann, who was Mary-hill's pastor for 30 years before retiring, lived next door to the church. His own home sustained ‘minimal damage,’ he said, including a few broken windows and damaged siding.
"Dan Steward, the church caretaker, also lived on the property and had some broken windows. [Apparently those living further away from the church suffered NO damage. Hmmm....]
"Sitzmann, who will remain at the same location he is now, added that Maryhill church members will more than likely be invited to join nearby parishes, although he couldn't say which ones."... [Heh. I guess they believe that if gOd wants to track ‘em down and hit ‘em again, he’s gonna have to work at it!]