Nearing his retirement as Head of Procurement for Morgan State University, Churchill Wortherly became the Pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in 2009. A fire, originally thought to be arson but later determined to be electrical failure, severely damaged his Church and virtually destroyed the lower level offices, social hall, kitchen, restrooms, and classrooms on the lower level of the building. The sanctuary, offices, and classrooms above suffered damage from both the fire and the firemen as they put out the blaze. What was not burned was either broken or suffered smoke damage, precluding both worship and the pre-school that the building facilitated.
Pastor Wortherly contacted CAM Construction with whom he and his congregation had worked at Morgan State University to restore the Church building and aid them in receiving the appropriate funds from their insurance company. CAM developed the scope of work needed for the restoration, provided pricing for each portion of the project on an individual basis, and then worked directly with the Church and their insurance company to ensure that the Church could maximize the replacement value from their policy.
The lower level social hall, which was most severely damaged by the fire, had both lead paint and vinyl asbestos tile flooring, which needed to be remediated; the heat had severely damaged the walls and ceiling, and the kitchen was a total loss. The windows in the sanctuary had been broken out, the narthex received smoke damage, the handicap lift had been destroyed, and the ceilings and insulation throughout the complex had been contaminated by smoke.
With a very limited budget, CAM was able to completely restore the lower level, restore the wall and floor finishes at the sanctuary, provide new windows at the sanctuary, install a new elevator, provide new finishes for all of the classrooms and offices, and not only restore all the restrooms but bring them into compliance with current ADA standards. Through the efforts of CAM and Pastor Wortherly, all insurance funds were used judiciously Also a challenge was that the Church remained operational throughout the restoration and the replacement of the electrical service.
Very sadly, Pastor Wortherly succumbed to an illness and did not live to serve his congregation in their newly restored home; his loss added to the challenge of the project because of his personal involvement in the design and construction and his relationship with the insurance provider. However, CAM was able to complete the project on time and within the small budget available to them.
It was Pastor Wortherly’s dream that the restored Church be “better than ever before”, and no one doubts that he is smiling down from Heaven now that the project is complete.