Repairs continue at First Presbyterian Church

Friday, March 25, 2011 | 4:06 p.m. CDT; updated 4:15 p.m. CDT, Saturday, March 26, 2011

COLUMBIA — It has been about a month since Scott Andrew Robinson crashed a silver Chevrolet Monte Carlo through the windows of First Presbyterian Church on Hitt Street.

The church has continued to work on repairing the damage. Insurance and final figures for the project have not yet been settled.


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"We are still waiting on estimates to come in," said Richard Ramsey, senior pastor at the church.

Projects that have been completed:

  • Repairing drywall and electrical works
  • Replacing the outdoor glass entryway
  • Replacing the outdoor shrubbery

Projects that still need to be addressed:

  • Replacing the indoor glass entryway
  • Fixing the carpet

"Most of the major stuff has been done," Ramsey said. "There's not structural, permanent damage to the building."

Director of Youth Ministries Nathan See said most of the kids are fine now, but some are still dealing with the incident.

It was not an ordinary youth group meeting that was interrupted by the crash. The church was hosting the Regional Presbyterian Youth meeting, which brought junior and senior high schoolstudents from Jefferson City, Marshall, Moberly and Mexico, Mo., churches, Ramsey said. Of the 50 kids present, about 10 to 12 were members of the damaged church.

See said attendees had planned to stay overnight until Saturday morning. Instead, most left about 1 a.m., once police finished interviewing them.

During the meeting, the students were asked to evaluate a group of black-and-white photos and pick one to "describe what God might want them to do in the future," See said.

At the next meeting the same photos were used to describe how they felt about the incident.

"It was interesting. There were 40 different ones out there, and they all picked different ones," See said.

The feelings expressed through the photos were sympathy and fear. One chose a picture that See said showed "God was with us during that time period."

After the incident, See talked with some of the students individually.

"It was more of a processing thing," See said. "They just needed somebody to listen and to reassure them."

Ramsey said that members of his church have informed him that attendees from the other churches are doing well.

Ramsey said he tried to contact Robinson by sending him a note assuring him that he is in the congregation's prayers. See also sent Robinson a message on Facebook, letting him know that the kids had prayed for him and that if he wanted to talk, See would listen. Neither of them have heard back from Robinson.

"We hope that something in his story changes and something good comes out of this situation," See said.

Robinson was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, first-degree property damage and first-degree assault of a police officer. His hearing is set for 2 p.m., April 11.

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