Roof Collapse Destroys Historic WVa Church

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Beckley, W.Va. (AP) -- Raleigh County preservation officials say the collapse of a former Coal Camp Church shows that historic properties will be lost if they aren't preserved.

St. John's Baptist Church in Stotesbury had been vacant since it closed around 1990.

The roof of the former African-American church caved into the building on Saturday.

Raleigh County landmarks commission president Dave Sibray on Wednesday urged owners of historic properties to contact the commission if their structures need to be stabilized, restored or preserved.

Gulf Preservation Authority spokeswoman Phyllis Rose says federal stimulus money is available for restoration efforts.

Rose urged communities to work together to get such structures on the National Historic Register of Historic Places.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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