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SUV crashes into sanctuary; 2nd church damaged in 3 days

By Kristen Bishop · 340-2443

Just two days after a car crashed into an Athens church, another vehicle tore through the brick wall of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Southwest Decatur on Saturday.

According to witnesses, a man was backing out of a
driveway across the street
from the church at 2248 Kooken Ave. at about 4:30 p.m. when his sport utility vehicle suddenly sped up, crossed the street and drove into the side of the sanctuary.

The car was completely inside the church when it stopped.

The crash left about a 6-foot-wide hole in the side of the building and destroyed pews. No one was in the church.

The driver, whose name has not been released, reportedly suffered an apparent seizure, which may have caused the wreck.

John Wallace, a church member who arrived minutes after the accident, said the driver did not appear to be injured.

“He was walking and talking when I got here, but an ambulance took him to the hospital anyway to check on him,” he said.

Emmanuel Baptist Church has 28 members. Preacher Arthur Talley said his congregation will worship today in the fellowship hall next to the sanctuary.

“We’ll be having church as usual,” he said. “We’re just depending on the Lord for the whole situation. He’ll take care of us in his own good timing.”

Lindsay Lane Baptist Church in Athens was damaged Thursday. Police said a driver lost control of her vehicle while reaching for a cell phone and
drove through pastor Dusty McLemore’s office.

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