Okmulgee Church Steeple Struck By Lightning


Thursday, August 13th 2020, 7:51 pm
By: Amy Slanchik


OKMULGEE CO -

The Okmulgee Fire Department said a church fire began Thursday morning after its steeple was struck by lightning.

Firefighters said they spent almost two hours at the scene, preventing the fire from destroying the church.  

A blue tarp now sits on the roof of the Town and Country Christian Church, where the same steeple stood for about 25 years.  Now, the steeple is left charred and in pieces on the ground, after firefighters believe it was struck by lightning.

Kyle Gregorio has been going to the church since he was 19 and is now the pastor.  

"We're a small but mighty congregation. There's probably about 60 of us,” Gregorio said.  

Gregorio said he rushed to the church Thursday morning after learning what happened.   

"I thought this whole part of the church was going to be gone, on fire,” Gregorio said.  

Firefighters said the steeple was in flames when they arrived on scene. They said they knocked the steeple off the roof to prevent the fire from getting worse.  

"The hard thing is we just refurbished the steeple last year,” Gregorio said.  

The church just celebrated its 60th anniversary last October with the renovated steeple.  

Inside the church, Gregorio said the hole left in the roof is above storage rooms, and nothing too valuable was lost.  

"We're just thankful nobody was here. The steeple can be replaced but lives can't,” Gregorio said.  

Now the congregation is working on dealing with some smoke and water damage, but the building is still intact.   

"Thankful for the Okmulgee Fire Department and the emergency responders that came out to do the work that they did on our building,” Gregorio said.  

He said the church does have insurance. He also said the church is planning to have Sunday services, but nothing has been decided yet as to how that will happen.