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story.lead_photo.caption Damage is visible Monday on the exterior of Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church after the building was hit by lightning Sunday. - Photo by Gavin Lesnick

— 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.

Lightning strike damages LR church

The Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church was damaged Sunday when its chimney was struck by lightning. (By Gavin Lesnick)
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"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."

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  • rainbowharold55
    November 12, 2012 at 12:52 p.m.

    I am proud to be a mamber of this church that does so much to reach out to marginalized people. It is a shame to see our beautiful building so damaged, but be sure we will continue our outreach to the homeless, unemployed, and underemployed, and in welcoming gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered believers.

  • rainbowharold55
    November 12, 2012 at 1:07 p.m.

    Our welcome statement:
    Drawn together by the loving grace of God, we of Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church believe that there are no inherent barriers to living in relationship with Christ. We welcome into our faith community people of all ages, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, physical and mental abilities, economic means and family structures.

  • Vickie55
    November 12, 2012 at 1:29 p.m.

    That sounds like the place I would like to be. I will try to visit next time I am in Little Rock.

  • T6
    November 12, 2012 at 1:43 p.m.

    There are many inherent barriers to living a relationship with Christ. Disobedience to obey God's word comes to mind.

  • tomezell04240836
    November 12, 2012 at 3:44 p.m.

    T6: It depends a lot on just what part of the Book you're reading from. There are passages in the old holiness code of the New Testament that tell us it is an abomination before God to eat shrimp and shellfish (not to mention the prohibition against pork and pork products, and being swine, I would suspect that the near-worship of Razorbacks would likely fall in there somewhere). When Christ comes along in the New Testament, he gives us an entirely new look in how to practice our faith, that is to to love God with all of our hearts and souls, and to love and care for one another as He loves us. The way is still striaght, and very narrow, but I find myself paying a lot more attention to the Gospels and Acts than I do to Deuteronomy. There is a reason why it's called a "new" testament...

    Last night's ncident shows that the Lord sends his weather on the just, and the unjust alike. Bad things sometimes happen to good folks, as the story of Job tells us, and even Christ alludes in the Gospels...

  • T6
    November 12, 2012 at 7:04 p.m.

    The New Testament was built on the Old Testament, was it not?
    If the OT was not relevant Jesus would not have referenced it and there wouldn't be so many references to it in the New Testament. The Apostles quoted the Old Testament.
    Apostle Paul cited passages from all three sections of the Old Testament-the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms-in describing Christ's mission.