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Ebenezer Lutheran Church steeple gets rehab

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Ebenezer steeple

Lifted by a crane, a crew from RL Williams worked to repair Ebenezer Lutheran Church’s steeple Wednesday.

As the church’s steeple points heavenward, the two workers needed a basket attached to a crane to get to their worksite Wednesday morning.

Knowing the day’s forecast called for heat and humidity, the RL Williams & Sons crew got to the Marion church early. Still, according to Paul Williams, set up for the job at Ebenezer Lutheran on West Main Street took an hour.

As he watched the men in the basket work, Williams hoped they would finish by early afternoon, but the work took care. Williams explained that the copper coating was pulling away from the wooden structure and needed to be secured.

While Williams had been told the steeple cost around $50,000 when it was built, he said to replace it today would carry a price tag of $300,000 to $500,000.

His Marion-based contractor company has done its share of church repairs and renovations. Williams said the crews have worked on many of the major churches in Smyth County and around region. Following the 2011 tornado that struck Glade Spring and Chilhowie, he said, they replaced two steeples on Glade Spring churches.

In church history, steeples often housed a bell that not only called the faithful to worship but was also used to warn the community of emergencies. So the sound could be heard throughout the area, the steeples were usually the tallest structures in a community.

Church steeples, which are frequently topped with a cross, are designed to guide people to church and to focus thoughts on Jesus and heaven. The steeple has also been said to symbolize that the congregation’s prayers and worship ascend to heaven.

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