ST. LOUIS (KMOV) — The steeple on top of a downtown St. Louis church collapsed during the vigorous Saturday morning storms.

Just before 2 a.m., the St. Louis Fire Department blocked Pine and North 17th streets near the Centenary United Methodist Church where the damage occurred. Debris from the church was scattered along the road and parking lots nearby. Capt. Garon Mosby with the St. Louis Fire Department said the steeple narrowly missed parked cars in the parking lot.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for the St. Louis area with the possibility 60 to 70 mph winds, which firefighters believe may have been a contributing factor. The fire department used an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Response Team to look at aerial view of the damage. Crews searched through piles of debris with a thermal imaging camera to ensure no one was injured.

Pastor Kathleen Wilder said church services will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday. Wilder said seeing the church without its cross and steeple took her breath away.

“I was able to salvage some of the steeple. The cross is mangled and secure,” she wrote describing the church, which was built in 1869. “Truthfully a mangled cross is probably a great symbol that even though the storm might mangle you God’s love remains strong.”

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