Courtesy: Rick Barbero / The Register-Herald - St. John’s Baptist Church, a historic church in Stotesbury, West Virginia collapsed August 29, 2009. The church had been empty nearly 20 years.
Raleigh County preservation officials say the collapse of a former coal camp church shows that historic properties will be lost if they aren't preserved.
St. John's Baptist Church in Stotesbury had been vacant since it closed around 1990. The roof of the former African-American church caved into the building Saturday.
Raleigh County Landmarks Commission President Dave Sibray Wednesday urged owners of historic properties to contact the commission if their structures need to be stabilized, restored or preserved.
Gulf Preservation Authority spokeswoman Phyllis Rose says federal stimulus money is available for restoration efforts. Rose urged communities to work together to get such structures on the National Historic Register of Historic Places.
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