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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -
A Thomasville church is demolished after the roof collapsed, destroying the sanctuary and prompting evacuations.
It was a somber day for the members of St. Thomas AME Church, as they watched their sanctuary fall to the ground.
As each piece of wood is ripped from the foundation, Pastor Choice says he is reminded of what once was.
"As I see the demolition here, I am reminded as various parts of the building where those particular items were and how they were located and just seeing that is just kind of staggering," says Clement Choice, Senior Pastor.
Even for the younger generation, this 140 year old building is filled with memories.
"Bible school, choir practice, church, just different events," says Lyndon Jackson, Church Member.
Officials say on Saturday around 3 o'clock, the roof caved in at the church on North Broad Street.
"The roof had collapsed completely and it was pressing on the outer walls, especially the back wall," says Choice.
"It was a safety hazard for the community, with the walls falling out, so we hired a demolition contractor to come in and take the structure down," says James West, Thomasville Building Inspections.
Because the bell tower could fall over onto a nearby transformer, several homes were evacuated on Webster Street.
"The tower we were worried about it possibly going across the street onto Webster street and take out the electrical lines and the transformer," says West.
Thankfully the church was empty and no one was hurt. The congregation had to abandon the building in January because it was deemed unsafe due to extensive structural problems.
But before they had a chance to see if the damage was repairable, it came tumbling down.
"Just to see it all come down, it is the end of a chapter," says Choice.
And as one chapter closes, the congregation looks towards the beginning of the next one.
They are currently holding mass in a nearby church. Reverend Choice says they still need to decide if they should rebuild a church on the same property.