Today the AP came out with the following report.

About halfway through Sunday service at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, as worshipers passed around the collection plate, a chorus of screams pierced the air.

Chunks of the ceiling in the 52-year-old church near Hickory came crashing down on the crowd of 200 or so, striking about 14, who were later treated and released from nearby hospitals. A jagged piece of the ceiling, roughly 10 feet by 10 feet, dangled from exposed wires over the back pews as deacons struggled to guide panicking worshipers from the building.

“My jaw just dropped,” the Rev. Antonio Logan said. “I thought, ‘This can’t be real.'”

Yes.  Real.

Church buildings are an albatross around the church’s neck, especially for small congregations who have, as the cliche has it, an “edifice complex.”

Such a complex would be OK – but many parishioners are not in the habit of funding it; and newcomers haven’t built up a commitment to the church.  And sometimes it takes years.

To fund staff, maintenance, AND church growth is expensive, which is why church plants are often easier than church turnarounds.