Montgomery County church severely damaged by runaway tractor-trailer tire

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.C. — A church community in Montgomery County is in a state of shock tonight after their building was severely damaged by a wheel that came loose from a tractor-trailer.

The Mount Grove AME Zion Church, located just southeast of Mount Gilead, has stood the test of time since 1944 but now the congregation has to figure out how to rebuild.

The church started out as a timber building with siding added later and brick later again.

But on Tuesday an empty log truck lost its wheel, which went flying into the church causing major damage.

When the church pastor, Rev. Renee Bethea, got the call about the accident, she had no idea what she was about to see.

“I was like, oh my God, no one said if anyone was hurt or not, so I was just praying that no one was here at the church and got hurt because Jerry is normally here patching up something or doing something,” Bethea said.

Luckily, no one was at the church. A member who lives down the street heard the impact and was able to catch a glimpse of the truck as it passed, describing it as a dark blue or black tractor pulling an empty logging trailer.

“When I got here, I took my camera out and started taking pictures and I got right there and it was just a little bit too much. As a new pastor in the Greensboro district, you fall in love with your congregation, you fall in love with your little church building, and to see it torn up like this was just overwhelming,” Bethea said.

At this point, the congregation is still trying to figure out what to do next, including hoping the trucking company comes forward to help with the repairs.

“I’m hoping that that person will come forward because this is devastating for us. We don’t have funds to make repairs like this,” Bethea said. “We’re just thankful that nobody got hurt. The building can be replaced, but people can’t be replaced.”

If you have any information about the truck that lost its wheel, call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

If you’d like to contribute to the Church’s rebuilding efforts, donations can be sent to:

Mountain Grove Church
Greensboro District
631 E. Florida St.
Greensboro, NC 27406

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