NORTH NAPLES, FL –
A Naples church and daycare were forced to be held outside on Sunday. The pastor of Faith Community Church says a growing sinkhole underneath the building is to blame.
“It’s heartbreaking. There’s nothing we can do about it,” says Pastor Roy Shuck.
Shuck says the sinkhole may be shifting tiles near the church’s nursery and splitting walls where they pray.
The ground has shifted so much that Shuck says it now slopes four inches down.
“They told us there was an unraveling of the soil and that’s one of the definitions of a sinkhole,” says Pastor Shuck.
On Thursday, Collier County officials deemed the church unsafe for the congregation. That forced Sunday services to be held outside.
“The church is us together, so we can still have church whether we have a building or not,” says church member Christine Schott.
News they couldn’t get inside rattled some members, however.
“I felt sad because I don’t want it to be destroyed because it will hurt. It will be very bad if it’s destroyed,” says church member Eli Bickford.
It’s too soon to know if the building can be saved. Daycare services at the Destiny Learning Center at the church were also cancelled on Monday due to the sinkhole. Parents were forced to find somewhere else to go.
“Some of the local daycares have helped, and a few moms have found family members who would help while we’re in the process,” says Destiny Church Pastor Greg Ball.
“We built the church with ideas that we will be expanding someday. I don’t know, maybe God, I know he has plans for us,” says Schott.
The Destiny Learning Center’s employees are also trying to figure out what to do. They all lost their jobs since the daycare can’t operate. But they remain hopeful.
“It’s something that’s temporary and it’s going to be a blessing in disguise,” says daycare director Aamiee Sirok.
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