SEDALIA, Mo. –Sedalia, Missouri got hammered by rainfall Tuesday morning, recording five-plus inches of rain in the span of a few hours.
With all the rain passing through the area also came a lot of lightning. That’s what is being blamed for the damage at the Bahner Church near the intersection of Route V and Bahner Road, just south of Sedalia.
Bahner Church is what it’s known as colloquially. It’s official name is St. John the Evangelist Chapel, described as a Catholic church with a generational history.
Now the church is reduced to ash, still smoldering.
Church to her grandpa and beyond, 7-year-old Charli Bahner says she thought the building would always be there.
“My heart’s like beating fast and stuff,” Bahner said.
“Up there, there was like a front that was kind of like a stage. And there, before the front, there was like benches and stuff,” she said.
“My grandma’s like ‘Oh my gosh, Bahner Church burnt down.’ Then my mom called grandma and said it got shocked by lightning,” she said.
“A lot of people have been going here for 50-60 years,” Gunner Williams, who stopped to look at the damage, said.
“Country, country, obviously it went up as soon as lightning hit. It was just a wooden old church,” Jenein Sinclair, also stopping to see the damage, said.
“The kids were like ‘How come they couldn’t get it?’ And it’s like way out here and the wood just made it…You know,” Sinclair said.
Across town on Cherry Tree Lane road crews were already at work by midday to replace a culvert that had washed away with the rural road during morning flash flooding.
Emergency crews tell FOX4 that waters quickly retreated and soaked into drought-affected fields and rivers.
But the fire damage at the church, melting nearby siding – stays behind.
“My grandpa went to school there as a little kid,” Williams said. “Now he’s 84.”
“When something gets started like this, it’s hard to put out. And like you said, it was an old structure. So once it got into the old wooden beams,” Williams said.
“Burnt pieces of stuff and it was very sad,” Bahner said.