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Zachary church destroyed after roof collapses; services temporarily moved to Baton Rouge

1 year 3 months 6 days ago Monday, April 17 2023 Apr 17, 2023 April 17, 2023 12:45 PM April 17, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

ZACHARY - A church in Zachary was torn down over the weekend after the roof collapsed, leaving the decades-old place of worship in ruin.

The initial collapse happened Friday at the Open Door Fellowship Life Center Church located on Avenue A, south of Rollins Road Park. It's still unclear what caused the roof to cave in, but officials declared the church a total loss. 

Congregants of Open Door Fellowship in Zachary were shocked to learn the roof of their church collapsed just hours after they had been inside worshiping.

"It just happened. It just suddenly happened," said church elder Stephanie Coleman. "We have no clue, no idea how. It's just one of those phenomenon that just threw us all."

Coleman says no one was there when it happened, but the pews had been packed every day that week. Those same pews are now visible from the street.

The building, built in 1985, showed no signs of structure failure beforehand, according to Coleman, and investigators are looking into how it happened.

Sometime over the weekend, the fire department knocked down the walls of the building to prevent any further collapse.

But the destruction didn't keep the congregation from Sunday worship, as they got to convene in their Mid-City location in Baton Rouge. Coleman says they will rebuild in Zachary.

"The plan is to rebuild and we're just waiting for investigations and everything else to be complete and of course our leader, Apostle Leroy Banks, is handling all of that, the business part and seeing what's needed and whatever we're going to need to restore and rebuild."

Right now, they have no idea what it will cost, but are asking the community for help any way they can.

"We appreciate the prayers, the thoughts, whatever anyone is willing to give and support us. Right now it's about support."

Church members have organized an online fundraiser for their rebuilding process.

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