Steeple that injured man to be rebuilt

By Fred Childers – bio|email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –  "It's the image of all the fire department men and women who cut me out of that vehicle. That's one image I do remember and will hold onto for the rest of my life," said Michael Williams.

That was back in October of 2009, just a week after he found himself underneath a massive steeple that fell from the First Methodist Church in downtown Shreveport while he was driving his car.

Williams survived. But the decision to replace it, languished, until now.

First Methodist Church officials tell KSLA News 12 that there are several projects planned, one of them is to replace the steeple.

They say the project is not only to improve the church campus, but to replace something that a lot of people feel has been missing from the skyline.

"It's part of the skyline, and you know driving over the Texas Street bridge, and you look up you don't see that steeple, there it looks kind of funny," said Ivy Woodard-Latin, a downtown worker.

"If you have the funds to do it, if you think It's a smart decision go for it. I personally think that money could be spent elsewhere," said Ashley McConnell.

Some worry about such a huge structure that has fallen victim to powerful winds before.

"But I think if you secure it really well, I think it can top Texas Street again," said Woodard-Latin.

"Use that money to feed the homeless on the street in downtown Shreveport the drug addicts going to the clinic in Highland," said Madison Herrington, Shreveport resident.

Despite that kind of opposition the church will resurrect the steeple and restore the downtown skyline at the end of Texas Street.

The church says a design has to be agreed upon, then a bidding process will begin. They hope to have it built and in place sometime next year.

Nearly a year has passed since the steeple fell. Williams could not be reached for comment.

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