Ceiling collapses at historic Toledo church - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Historic church officials blame damage on construction

This hole in the ceiling started collapsing last Thursday at a historic church in Toledo. This hole in the ceiling started collapsing last Thursday at a historic church in Toledo.
The mess left behind has closed the church and moved its services to another Toledo location. The mess left behind has closed the church and moved its services to another Toledo location.
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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Staff at a historic church in Toledo is cleaning up after a section of the ceiling collapsed last week. It happened at the GHDT Worship Center on Collingwood Boulevard by West Bancroft Street in central Toledo.

Last Thursday, music director Chris Byrd said he was working on the balcony early that morning when he looked up and saw a crack in the ceiling. Moments later, plaster started falling from the ceiling. Then the ceiling completely collapsed.

"Next thing you know, a couple of pieces of plaster, and then all of a sudden, it was just like a big explosion - the whole thing dropped down and I felt like I was at ground zero," said Byrd.

Byrd said although the church dates back to 1901, officials believe construction on Collingwood essentially caused the damage, especially since the structure shook during times of construction.

"They've been doing a lot of construction on the street, and every time we're in the building and they're working, you can feel the whole building shake. So, we believe it's because of the vibration," explained Byrd.

Although there is a huge mess left to clean up and a ceiling to repair, Byrd said they are grateful no one was injured.

"We we're just here 24 hours prior to that for bible study, so if that had happened, it would have been several casualties," said Byrd.

Only crews wearing masks are allowed inside because there is a threat of asbestos.

Church officials say they are letting their insurance company take care of the situation. Toledo city officials are investigating the construction that took place during the time of the collapse.

The clean-up cost is estimated in the thousands. The entire ceiling will have to be replaced, along with multiple pews.

Sunday's service was held at the hotel at the University of Toledo Medical Center. All other services this week will also be held at that location.

"We know that God is in control and he's going to lead us and guide us," said Byrd.

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