LITTLE ROCK A Little Rock church is cleaning up after lightning struck its building in the Governor's Mansion Historic District, severely damaging the chimney and sending bricks falling down onto the roof.
Thompson Murray, senior pastor of Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, said the "massive lightning strike" hit the church's chimney about 4:30 p.m. Sunday as storms moved through the area. The impact crumbled a large part of the brick chimney and the bricks dropped down, smashing holes in various parts of the tile roof at 1601 S. Louisiana St. No one was injured.
"It just fired bricks into our roof kind of like buckshot," Murray said. "... No pleasure in this, I'll tell you that. We prefer our acts of God to be of a more gracious manner."
In addition to the roof and chimney, the church suffered water damage when rain from the storm flowed into the holes caused by the falling brick.
Murray said officials were still assessing the full extent of the damage, though he said it appeared minimal to the roof over the sanctuary. He said he doesn't expect any disruption to church services.
"We're just kind of waiting to get the experts to come assess the damage and see what we're up against," he said.
The church, formerly the Winfield Methodist Church, was built in 1921 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982.
Murray spoke Monday morning in his office at the church, taking a break from a constant flow of meetings and phone calls with roofers, insurance adjusters and church members.
"I didn't learn in seminary how to respond to lightning strikes and roof disasters," he said. "But you never know what a day will bring."