Crestline New Life Church damaged by tree
By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
After a weekend of rain in the Crestline area, as members of the New Life Christian Fellowship Church, also known as Crestline New Life AG (Assemblies of God), arrived for their New Year’s Day Sunday morning service, they were surprised to discover a tall tree had fallen into the corner of their building. What had previously appeared to be healthy tree crashed into the roof of the two-story building, intruding into their interior office spaces along the west side of the building.
As members arrived for services, they tried to sing some songs of worship, but the insurance company told them they needed to leave for safety purposes so the building could be secured.
The members immediately banded together and, with experts, by 2 p.m. had tarped the roof of the building (with the tree still in the roof) to make it weatherproof to eliminate potential future damage. They also removed some of the damaged interior cupboards and broken ceiling materials.
They were aware another storm was headed into the area on Monday and wanted to eliminate the potential for additional damage. They were unable to remove the tree trunk on Sunday.
The building is a historic one in Crestline. It was built for the Native Sons of the Golden West (NSGW) as their lodge building. The NSGW were very active in the mountain area over the decades, beginning in the 1930s. The Lodge installed numerous historical monuments in the mountain communities over the years, three of which were installed at that location, including a tribute to the water of the original Mormon Springs (1930s), Crestline and Skyland developer and postmaster Charles S. Mann (1940) and roadbuilder Charles Doyle (who also has a road in Cedarpines Park named for him near the fire station).
None of the monuments located in the front yard of the church were damaged by the fallen tree. The tree just fell over, separating from its roots, barely even damaging the asphalt of the parking lot around its base.
Matt Shorey, the Pastor at the Crestline New Life AG, announced the tree damage with 10 photos on his Facebook account on Sunday by saying, “Well, the new year came roaring in; please pray for our church and stay tuned for our service schedule going forward.”
Pastor Bill Mellinger of the Crestline Baptist Church wrote on that Facebook announcement, “Lord, we thank you that no one was hurt. Please bless our brothers and sisters as they deal with this challenge.”
The church is well known in the community for its community-focused generosity, including Monday morning fresh food distributions, which were already not scheduled for this week because of the legal holiday on Monday, Jan. 2. They also give out school supplies and backpacks each fall and host seasonal events.
As of press time, they did not know what the church’s immediate plans were.
(Photos by Rhea-Frances Tetley)
This apparently healthy tree toppled in a rain storm and crashed into the roof of the Crestline New Life Church.
In addition to crushing the roof, the tree caused damage to the church’s office area.