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Car crashes into South Louisville church, but 'cornerstone' remains


LOUISVILLE—Around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21, a joy-riding young man and his friends crashed his mom's car into the corner of Temple of Faith Baptist Church in South Louisville.

During the church's Wednesday night service the next day, the mother of the young man was part of the prayer circle surrounding the wreckage, and the man apologized directly to the pastor and confessed to the police.

Myriah Snyder

Temple of Faith Pastor Joel Bowman surveys the damage done to the building the night before.

"What started out as a bad day for the Temple of Faith ended up being a great day of praise to the Lord," Temple of Faith Pastor Joel Bowman said.

Among other damage, the accident took out one of the front columns of the church, dented the church's sign, wrecked large chunks of brick, compromised the staircase leading to the balcony, shattered a window, and destroyed the cornerstone of the former church, Bicknell Ave. Baptist Church, who gifted the building to and merged with Temple of Faith in the early 2000s.

Myriah Snyder

Temple of Faith's cornerstone remained untouched, surprisingly. "I think it's very divinely ironic that all of this is destroyed, yet the cornerstone remains," Bowman said.

Bowman, founder of Temple of Faith and bivocational pastor and counselor for the VA, said he woke up to pictures of the damage. Leaders in his church had already talked to the police the night before.

"My wife said she was so happy I didn't find out right when it happened, because, 'Joel, you probably would have had a meltdown,'" he quipped.

But even though a couple months ago an unknown man with a metal pipe had shattered the glass in one of the glass-paned doors, Bowman knows that God has a plan through this.

He shared, "It was discouraging, but over the course of this day, God has really impressed upon my heart that He's sovereign, He's in control, and that He's going to use this for His glory. And that's the God that we serve, a God who can take a seemingly tragic situation and turn it around for our good. Also, it is a lesson in gratitude."

The church is committed to continuing their ministry, despite the fact that they can't use their sanctuary. On Wednesday night, they met in their Family Life Center, where they will continue worship until the damage to the sanctuary is fixed. In addition, the church hosts one of the largest Dare to Care food banks in the area and will continue to minister to the hundreds that come each week.

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