The cross that topped the church at 760 E. Savidge St. since 1957 was removed on Dec. 7 because it had been damaged during a May 25 lightning strike.
Buist Sheet Metal Co., Inc. of Grand Rapids fabricated a new cross with a lightning rod and installed it Thursday morning.
“Our best Christmas gift didn’t need to be unwrapped,” said the Rev. Dan Anderson. “We’re very fortunate those guys were able to operate in moderate temperatures and I feel good because in addition to the lighting rod placed atop of the cross, Michigan Lightning Protection went far beyond to reduce the risk of future damage to our water and electrical systems.”
The May 25 strike caused between $15,000 and $20,000 in damages, according to Anderson, much of it undiscovered for days and weeks.
Spring Lake Presbyterian’s insurance carrier agreed to pay for the new cross, which cost about $11,000, according to Anderson.
The lightning hit also perforated the church’s water main, burned out air conditioning compressors, damaged the cable box, broke windows and more.
“We feel very fortunate that the damage was minimal and we’re very pleased with our new cross,” Anderson said. “We have the original cross and we’re keeping it for posterity. We don’t have plans to do anything with it other than keep it because it’s meaningful. What a great Christmas present.”