COLUMBUS (WCMH)–A historic church in German Village has closed indefinitely after a lightning strike in September damaged the aged structure of the building.
Deacon Roger Minner told NBC4 that St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church on South Third Street has major damage to its roof. Structural engineers are reviewing the building.
The church is currently holding Sunday Mass in the school gym, and weekday Mass in the church’s chapel. Photos of the damage have been posted on the website.
George Jones, communications director for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus, sent the following statement:
On Friday, October 7, after an inspection of the church building at St. Mary Parish in German Village by structural engineers, it was determined that roof truss joints were in significant need of repair and that the church will temporally close until necessary repairs are made. Concerns with this section of the structure had been identified as part of the church’s ongoing maintenance plan; following a lightning strike on Sunday, September 25, additional deterioration was suspected after inspection by church and diocesan staff. While the structural engineers are still completing their review, it is believed possible that the lightning strike caused vibration throughout the structure that worsened the deterioration. Weekend Masses at St. Mary will be temporally relocated to the school gym; weekday Masses will be held in the church’s chapel. Assessments are currently underway to determine the timeframe and cost for repairs.
The parish was founded in 1865, and construction began on the building in 1866. It was only the third Catholic church in Columbus.