CARROLLTON (CBSDFW.COM) – It may look like an earthquake hit the Crosspointe Faith Community’s Theater 166, but it was a lightning strike that caused the walls to buckle.
“There was a witness that said they heard the lightening and saw it strike. That’s how we knew what it was,” says Pastor David Wahlstedt. “If you just look at it, it looks like wind.”
The outer walls of Crosspointe’s Theater 166 are crumbling and buckling. The community-based arts venue sits in the middle of a shopping center on Parker Rd. in Carrollton near Josie Ln. It got its name because the church only needed the theater for two hours out of the week.
The rest of the time, the space is used for arts and civic groups and as a live music venue.
“Our place was empty at that particular moment,” said Wahlstedt. ”A little bit later in the evening, there would have been events and things happening here so we’re really thankful that God spared it and the empty building took the hit instead of the places that were occupied.”
The theater was damaged during Wednesday’s storms, which began in the early afternoon and continued through the evening. Wahlstedt said he drafted the plans for the theater on the back of a napkin while on a business trip. He said he never dreamt that the building that housed his church and community meeting space would crumble like one.
Engineers who visited the building Thursday morning say the space Crosspointe has been leasing is a total loss and will have to be torn down.
“June 6, 2010 is when we opened, and then two years to the day we were struck by lightening,” says Wahlstedt.
Theater 166 staffer Kylie Knight says it looks like a bomb went off inside.
“It’s hard for us to look at because we put a lot of work into it,” says Knight, “but it is just stuff and it can all be replaced.”
Wahlstedt. says Crosspointe typically holds services at Theater 166 on Sundays. This Sunday, they will need to improvise.
“We’re going to be here somewhere, that’s the plan,” he said. “Maybe in the parking lot.”
True Spirits, a business next door to the church, had some water damage in an adjacent space. They were back on Thursday.
“It’s very unfortunate that it happened to our neighbors,” said Mike Conte, a True Spirits spokesman. “We have a good relationship with them, so we’ll do what we can to help them out. But we’re very fortunate that we’re still open and running.”
Church leaders say Theater 166 will be back –– and better than ever.
“We’re going to be strong and courageous and we’re going to rebuild just as soon as we can,” Wahlsted said.