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Wheeling church steeple restored after 34 years

Updated: Monday, December 2 2013, 02:39 PM EST

By: NEWS9 and Jon Rudder
WHEELING, W.Va. --


It's been 34 years since a steeple has been atop the Our Lady Of Lebanon Church in downtown Wheeling. But on Monday, after five months of work, a new cross and steeple were raised to their original position atop of the church's bell tower.

The steeple was struck twice by lightning in the 1960s, causing the structure to weaken. The bell, which weighed around 3,000 pounds, was too heavy for the tower and was subsequently removed.

Now, in addition to the new steeple, a new cross was hoisted onto the steeple, which is a replica of the original that was struck by lightning. Surrounding the steeple and the cross at the top of the tower is a rebuilt crown of the Blessed Mother.

Monsignor Bakhos Chidiac of the church said, "This crown and the steeple, they are from Revelations. There are 12 stars around her head and the crown here represents the 12 stars. I am so pleased and happy to see the crown back again."

The project to rebuild the steeple cost about $135,000 and all of the money came from donations.

In 2004, Chidiac and the parish council exchanged the bells that once rang in the tower with electric chimes. With the new steeple completed, the church is nearly identical to its original 1922 design.

Wheeling church steeple restored after 34 years


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