The Church in Galilee faces a unique challenge


The steeple has been wedged between the Church of Galilee and the Holly Hill apartments for about a week. Thursday morning, the crews removed it.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A steeple torn from the Galilee Church in Virginia Beach sits in a new spot Thursday morning.

The remnants of Hurricane Ian knocked him off the roof and pinned him between the church and the Holly Hill apartments.

Reverend Andrew Buchanan of Galilee Church couldn’t believe the phone call he received about the church steeple falling off the roof.

“Signs fell from the steeple,” he said.

“So I said ‘oh you mean signs.’ And my company administrator said ‘No, the steeple came off.’

He fell on September 30. Buchanan says the weather conditions were difficult that night.

“Slate tiles were coming out of that roof, fireballs were coming out of those lines right behind us,” Buchanan said.

For nearly a week, the steeple sat between the two buildings.

Buchanan said the position of the steeple did not affect church operations and that the church even held a wedding after the steeple fell.

On Thursday morning, a crew lifted the structure above the church and into the parking lot.

“It was a very impressive process,” said Dean Rogers, property manager of Holly Hill Apartments.

Crews moved this steeple in minutes, but the job here is far from done.

The next step in the process is to clear the alley where parts of the bell tower still remain. Rogers said he will then he will better understand what needs fixing.

“On the surface, it appears to be minor compared to what you would expect to see from something of this size hitting a building,” Rogers said.

From what he could see, Rogers said the newly placed gutters on the building were damaged.

As he plans to bring in contractors to the site, Reverend Buchanan said he and church leaders had to make a big decision on what to do with the steeple.

“You know how churches work,” Buchanan said. “We will probably have to get a committee together and we will have to decide if we want to put this bell tower back, another bell tower. What are we going to do? Well, think about it.”

Buchanan said church leaders need to cover the hole in the roof and are working to fix it soon.


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