ELLIJAY, Ga. -- You might call it divine intervention that spared a north Georgia church from the wrath of mother nature, after a huge bolt of lightning zapped the church and blew a hole into the side of the building. The moment was caught on a near-by security camera.
David Hayes told 11Alive he has a security camera set up at his business Hayes Manufacturing near Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Ellijay. Hays said he was scrubbing through video footage of severe weather that swept through last week to get a feel for how bad the storm was. As he was looking over the video, he spotted something around the 3 a.m. mark that gave him a partial answer: the bright-white flash from a lightning bolt that pierced the outside of the church.
FRAME BY FRAME | Ga. church struck by bolt of lightning
As you might guess, the strike fried many of the church's electrical equipment. The elevator, computer, phones and sanctuary's A/V equipment were all knocked out of order. The strike also left a hole in the church's roof and sent exterior brick and other debris flying more than 30 feet into the air.
11Alive's Joe Henke spoke to the church's pastor, Dan Rosser on Monday, who walked through some of the damage. Rosser estimates that repairs will cost at least $20,000 to $30,000, but the church does have insurance to cover some of the expenses.
The good news is that most of the damage to the church building happened away from the sanctuary, so parishioners were still able to have services.
11Alive's Joe Henke will have more on this story on 11Alive at Five and Six.
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