Members of a Cumberland County congregation are trying to rebuild after a tractor trailer destroyed their church building.
A pickup truck and a tractor trailer were involved in a crash on Route 77 in Upper Deerfield Township late Sunday afternoon. The crash caused the tractor trailer to slam into the Wells of Salvation, God of the Father Church. The impact caused the church walls to cave in and the roof to collapse.
Amazingly, no one was hurt in the crash. The driver of the pickup truck was issued summonses for careless driving, failure to stop and no driver's license.
Services that Sunday had been delayed by a heating problem and about 35 people were at the church longer than normal. They left only about 90 minutes before the truck crashed into the sanctuary. The pastors of the church, Robert Canion, Sr. and his wife Alberta Canion, are convinced that divine intervention kept the congregation safe.
“I believe the Lord has an appointed time and I believe that time was appointed for us not to be there,” Alberta Canion said.
The Canions say the crash has had a major impact on the church’s Christmas plans.
“It hurts because we had things set up that we were going to do for Christmas and New Year’s,” Robert Canion said.
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A GoFundMe page was created to help raise money for the church to make repairs. The Canions say they’ve already received help from other local churches.
“It still represents that time of giving and what we see is all the love that’s been poured out,” said Alberta Canion. “It brings Christmas more focused than ever before.”