First Baptist Church in Stephenville, Texas, gathered for worship on Jan. 22, four days after the façade on the exterior of one of its buildings collapsed, injuring two construction workers.
A portion of the arched façade on the north side of the church’s education building collapsed at 1:58 p.m. on Jan. 18. The century-old building — part of the city’s historic district — is undergoing renovation and restoration.
Pastor Ken May was in his office at the south end of the church campus when he and others heard the crash.
“By the time I walked around the building, first responders were already there,” he said in a phone interview with the Texas Baptist Standard.
One of the workers injured in the accident was discharged from the hospital the same day he was treated. The other was transported to a hospital in Fort Worth, where he is “stable and improving,” May said.
“Buildings are valuable resources, but human lives are what are really precious,” he said.
‘God is with us’
During the Jan. 22 morning worship service, May encouraged his congregation to praise God for his presence in difficult times and thank God for the protection he provides.
“God is good. All the time, God is good,” he said. “It has been a tough week. … Even when the façade on the church crumbles, God is with us.”
The church’s Kinderbridge Preschool meets in the education building, but no children or staff were injured. The collapse occurred after the time when the children were outdoors on a playground and prior to dismissal, when they would have been exiting the building with their parents, May noted.
While some preschool classes were moved to the church’s fellowship hall and a couple of adult Bible study classes relocated to the sanctuary on Jan. 22, most were able to meet in their usual areas. All classes were expected to be in their normal locations on Jan. 29.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Ken Camp and originally published by Texas Baptist Standard.