Safety is a concern after a local church collapses

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Reporter: Mychaela Bruner
Photographer: Chad Darnall

METROPOLIS, Ill—Safety is on the minds of church members and volunteers of a local church today as they begin to rebuild for a third time.  On Friday the front-half of the Weaver Creek Baptist Church in Metropolis came crashing down, sending one man to the hospital.

Volunteers said the trusses on the front-half of the church started leaning and from there it was a domino effect.  When the trusses collapsed, they crushed a construction volunteer worker from North Carolina sending him to the hospital with a broken wrist and three cracked ribs.  He was released two days later, but safety is a concern as the church gets ready to re-build.

Since Friday, most of the collapsed church has been left untouched as church members wait for the insurance adjuster to finish up.  Crushed ladders and broken equipment lie under all of the rubble.

Now, church members are concerned about the safety of those volunteers who continue to rebuild.

"I'm looking for an amazing chapel. On this side with our built in baptistery with our crimson red pews and the woodwork," said Minister Paul McCormick as he imagined what the church would look like.

But for now, those visions will remain a dream for McCormick.

"Safety will always be the number one concern, even more now than ever because we have had our first accident," said McCormick.

As a result of what happened, Kentucky Changers project coordinator Joe Ball said simpler may be better.

"Making sure structures are safe and sturdy..."You got to understand what you can expect from a volunteer. They are not highly trained," said Ball.

From here, McCormick and the pastor want volunteers to simply ask before they help.

"We want to protect each and everyone that volunteers to help us. We will have to look a little more stricter on who actually does the work," said McCormick.

McCormick believes the best is yet to come.
 
"We're not going to dwell on the past, but we are going to look to the future and make sure everyone is protected as best as we can," said McCormick.

And with that vow... he said the Weaver Creek Baptist Church will be built in no time.

"We will build this church. It's just a building, we are the church, but we will build it in god's glory," said McCormick.

Minister McCormick asks any volunteer who would like to help to go through him or the pastor first. He said in the next couple of days, they will begin to work, but safety will be their main concern.
 
Due to the structural damage, the church's finish date is delayed.  This is the third to re-build the church after the church caught fire in May of 2012 and then in June a micro-burst hit the church blowing down what was already built.

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