10Listens: East Knoxville church leaning on faith and community after crash

Nov. 1, 2016: A Knoxville congregation is calling on the Lord and their community for help after a car crashed into their church and damaged part of the building.

It's been a busy few days for Pastor William Riddle.

He's been picking up the pieces at his East Knoxville church.

"If you could see inside, you could see that the walls are leaning, it was a load bearing wall that they hit,” Riddle said.

A car struck St. John's Missionary Baptist Church at 2250 Martin Luther King Junior Ave. early Sunday morning. Knoxville police said a truck hit the building. The driver was alert and spoke to police.

Authorities took a man, who was a passenger in the truck, to the University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.

"I’m glad nobody was hurt,” Riddle said. “We can replace everything in here, but you can't replace a life.”

The congregation managed to have service Sunday morning even despite all the damage and debris.

The 40-member church is working to continue those decades of service despite the setback. The damage is a little harder to see inside the sanctuary.

"As you walk in here the floor starts to go downhill,” Riddle said.

The church is waiting to hear back from insurance examiners to find out how much this crash will cost. Riddle said the setback won't take them away from their mission.

"Through whatever trials and tribulations we're going to serve the lord,” Riddle said.

10News reached out to the Knoxville Police Department to see if this crash is under investigation, and will let viewers know when we learn more.

Riddle said if the church is deemed structurally unsafe, the congregation will have to move somewhere else for the time being.

Anyone who wants to help the church's recovery effort can donate or make out a check to St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church.

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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