Lightning strike causes damage to Laurel County church

LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) - Like many near tragedies the story of what happened to London’s First Pentecostal Church is described as something that could have been much worse.

“Right now we’re fine. Yesterday, we were pretty frantic!” said Rev. Vernon Jarvis.

First came the sound.

“When the hit came, it sounded like a bomb going off. It shook our house,” said Jarvis, who lives near the church.

Those inside the church didn’t see any damage. But a neighbor did, called 911 and later snapped photos of firefighters' quick efforts to save the structure.

“We’re OK. And God is going to take care of us,” said Jarvis.

The church has been hit by lightning several times before. The cross that sits atop the steeple also acts as a lightening rod. The strike burned a good part of the steeple and damaged a few things inside.

“The phone system is fried. Our network is fried here…computers and things of that sort,” said Jarvis.

In a strange twist of events, a recent theft actually saved more damage from being done.

The minster says thieves stole part of their sound system that would have been connected leading to a greater loss of equipment in the strike. The minister is also grateful for the observant neighbor who saw the strike from a key vantage point.

“That probably saved our church from catastrophe,” said Jarvis.

There’s no visible damage inside the church and the minister say he’s not sure what needs to be done to the steeple.

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