Lightning strike sends Carrollton congregation outdoors

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by SHON GABLES

WFAA

Posted on June 10, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 10 at 10:45 PM

CARROLLTON — Members of CrossPointe Church assembled to hold their regular Sunday service in an unexpected place — outside in a grassy field, 50 feet away from the Church's front door.

The building was damaged in a violent storm last week.

But again, the congregation endured yet another jab from the weather.

"We've all been praying for good weather today," said Pastor David Wahlstedt.

Just minutes before Sunday's service began, gusty winds flapped programs in the air and toppled an outdoor canopy. It looked bad, but members have endured worse.

"It's just hiccups," said longtime church member Adriane Grimes.

Last Wednesday, a bolt of lightning struck CrossPointe Church and its adjoining community theater. The roof collapsed — but not the resolve of its tenants.

"This is a bump in the road," said Bruce Campbell with a smile. "As you can see, we are pretty upbeat, and we are moving forward!"

Impressed by CrossPointe's resiliency, Lisa Brashier attended services at her own church and then rushed to this grassy field for Pastor Walhlstedt's message. She said being at CrossPointe is like being at home.

"They're really incredible folks," Brashier said. "They do quite a bit for our community right in this area."

Pastor David Wahlstedt insists that nature's unexpected surprise is a blessing.

"We've been wishing for a little bit more community notoriety for our space and for different groups to come and use it," he said, adding with a chuckle: "I'm not sure we would have gotten it this way!"

In the end, the storm's media attention has resulted in new people attending and more than $200 in donations to repair the damaged structure.

Pastor Wahlstedt said his church rents the building, but once final estimates are in, repairs will begin. Until then, CrossPointe's services will continue to take place outdoors — weather permitting.

E-mail sgables@wfaa.com

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