"Does it mean anything that lightning hit a church? I have no idea," said Sarah Buehler, director of communications at Bethany Community Church. "Did we tick off God? I don't think so, but who knows."
Buehler was whimsically playing along with a reporter's question about Saturday afternoon's unusual occurrence. The chapel took a direct hit during some brief thunder storm activity.
"I saw the lightning, I was running with my dog and she was really scared," Buehler recalled. "I saw the flash, and heard the thunder and I thought, gosh, that seemed close to Bethany."
Moments later her phone received a stream of calls from members wondering what was going on. One of the church's pastors says he didn't give much thought to the notion that the lightning strike could have some greater meaning.
"We've heard some of those comments," said Pastor Phil Maulding. "Theologically, things happen, and just a building got hit, so don't make a lot of meaning out of it."
Pastor Maulding said he and other staff members are just grateful there was no serious fire and nobody got hurt. Three church musicians were rehearsing when it happened.
The chapel took a direct hit Saturday afternoon, not on Sunday when there could have been a few hundred worshippers inside. It will probably cost thousands to repair the damage, and the church had to call in repair technicians to restore phone and internet service after the jolt.
The pastor reflected for a moment on what his members may be thinking.
"I can guarantee you nobody will get hit by lightning now," he quipped "It's not going to strike twice, so it's safe to come to Bethany."
Pastor Maulding laughed. He's pretty cool, by the way. One of his members pointed out he rides a Harley.
"I mean, certainly there was a time in my life when I thought if I went to church I might get hit by lightning," he said.
He's square with God now.