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Flint church building heavily damaged in hit-and-run crash

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - Members of Landmark Fellowship Church in Flint have been forced to worship elsewhere for a weeks after someone crashed into their building and fled the scene.

The crash destroyed a staircase, caused burst pipes and left a massive hole in the side of the building on Saginaw Street. The Flint Police Department says the damage was caused by a hit-and-run driver, who fled the scene before officers arrived.

The crash happened on March 30, just a few days before Easter. The church’s first lady said they’re getting nowhere with repairs over two weeks after the crash.

Members put up boards on their own to secure the building. The ripple effect led the church to close during one of the most important weeks of the year for parishioners.

“We were going to give away food free food and free clothes, and we couldn’t do any of that we had to shut the building down,” said Jamillah Lynn, the first lady at Landmark Fellowship Church.

The hit-and-run driver damaged several water pipes that flooded their fellowship hall in the basement, ruined appliances and destroyed the stairs leading from the sanctuary down to the basement fellowship hall.

“I believe the person that caused this damage should pay for it. I think that’s just right,” Lynn said.

However, Flint police were still working to track down the driver two weeks later.

Lynn said investigators didn’t even speak with anyone from the church on the day of the crash. Their security system alerted them to a disturbance and a church member who showed up to see what happened found the mess.

Police had already been there and removed the car. Lynn said they left a note with the complaint number.

“If we were at least given the call, I mean our phone number is right on the building in a big on the big side,” she said. “But to have a little bitty note sticking out, which could have blew away to leave our building open in this area exposed to the elements, it was kind of -- my opinion -- disrespectful.”

Lynn said the entire mess shouldn’t be on their plate in the first place. They’ve reached out to insurance to cover the costs, but she said they’re dragging their feet.

“I know it’s going to probably be over $25,000 I’m estimating, but that’s not even considering the time that we’re out of our building that we are helping -- you know paying to be elsewhere, and other emotional, mental strain that is put on us,” Lynn said.

Landmark church just completed renovations to the damaged area within the last six months. The church had only been open for a few weeks following the COVID-19 shutdown.

For now, they’re holding services in other local churches that stepped up to help them.

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