When Warner Avenue Baptist Church held its first service after June 5, it had an exceptional amount to be thankful for.
That Tuesday, a pickup truck had barreled through the intersection at Warner and Gothard Street, flying into the 106-year-old church building and smashing part of its entryway. For a few hours, as police and fire officials stepped over broken glass and a tow truck gingerly removed the truck's remains from the premises, some onlookers might have guessed that Huntington Beach had lost another piece of its past.
As it turned out, though, the crash — for which the driver received a DUI citation — only demolished part of the building's exterior. So the next time the congregation met, it came in through the back entrance and found the interior, mercifully, unchanged.
"We, of course, were thanking God for the fact that no one was injured in the whole thing," Intern Pastor Kevin Weston said. "Normally, there's a lot of pedestrian traffic in that intersection, and thank God that no one was there [during the accident]."