It has been almost 3 months now since the ceiling collapse at First Pres Adrian. After much frustration with GuideOne, they finally informed us last week that they have accepted our claim and will be providing coverage. We don't know all the details yet, and we expect there will still be considerable expenses for our congregation, but that is good news.
Currently, the sanctuary is filled with scaffolding that is providing structural support to the roof. There are also some support columns that go all the way down to the basement floor in the fellowship hall to provide additional support. Now that this work has been done, we hope to be able to start holding worship in our fellowship hall, hopefully this week. We are extremely thankful to the Croswell Opera House for providing us with a temporary worship space over these months. Their hospitality has been amazing.
Obviously this has been a very stressful and traumatic event for our congregation and for me personally (you don't typically get shingles in your 30s without undergoing some stress), but we are very thankful for the thoughts and prayers and financial support from our fellow congregations in the presbytery. I know many of you even offered to help with cleanup efforts, but we've had to leave that to the professionals because of the risks from the unstable structure.
At this point, we do not have an estimate of how long repairs will take or what they will cost. I wish that I could give you the inspirational ending to the story, but we are not there yet. I've been preaching through the lectionary texts from Exodus, and I think we are finding some solidarity with the Israelites, wandering through the wilderness. We certainly hope, though, that it will not take 40 years!
Please continue to keep us in prayer, and thank you so much for your support.
Sarah Ross, Pastor
First Presbyterian Church of Adrian, MI
In June a beam in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, Adrian Michigan apparently collapsed and accomplished significant damage to the sanctuary, including the pulpit, the stage, and other items of the front of the building.
Insurance adjusters and structural engineers visited with the church, inspected the damage and decided what might be future options. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has been in touch regularly. Pastor Sarah Ross is leading well, along with an able Session.
The church is worshipping at the Croswell Theater across the street, and making adjustments for their ongoing ministries, such as their first health fair!
There will be unexpected financial challenges. The Presbytery has set up a Disaster Relief Fund # 2625 for the purpose of designated gifts for congregations in Maumee Valley Presbytery. Initially, donations will be designated for First Adrian
Contributions may be sent to :
Maumee Valley Presbytery
PO Box 638164
Cincinnati, Ohio 45263-8164
I am sorry to have to inform you of some difficult and sad news. Tonight during our session meeting at church, it was discovered that at some time this afternoon, the main beam structure supporting the ceiling above the sanctuary collapsed.
There is a significant amount of damage to the sanctuary, and at this time it is not safe for anyone to enter. The roof is intact at this time, but we don't know whether it will be able to hold. There is a possibility of further collapse.
As soon as this was discovered, the session members sprang into action contacting our insurance company, structural engineers, and so on. We will have more information for you in the coming days as we know what repairs will be needed.
At this time, we do not know where worship will be held on Sunday. Please watch your e-mail for further updates and information, and pass the word to those who may not have e-mail access. We hope to be able to worship in the fellowship hall, but we need to hear from the structural engineer to make sure that it is safe.
Until we can ensure safety, no one should enter the sanctuary under any circumstances. We know many of you have building keys and it is tempting to go look, but please, please do not enter the sanctuary. The blessing in all this is that the church was empty at the time of the collapse and that no one was injured and no lives were lost. Please help us keep everyone safe by staying out at this time.
This is a frightening and sad event for us all, and we may be anxious and uncertain about the future. Yet in the midst of the chaos, God is with us.
As Psalm 46 says,
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way,
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its surging. . .
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
We hold to the truth that the church is not a building, but rather the people of God. We will continue to be First Presbyterian Church in Adrian. We will continue to serve Christ together.
Please keep the church in your prayers, and await further news as we assess the damage and determine a path forward together.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Sarah and the Session
Rev. Sarah E. Ross
First Presbyterian Church