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During the earliest stages of civilization, mankind was likely aware of the damage that termites could cause to wood-made structures. Destructive termites had to be problematic for early humans living within primitive shelters that were constructed from nothing but wood. Avoiding termite damage has probably always been a priority for human beings. However, for most of human history, untreated wood was the most durable material available for building structures. Luckily, modern lumber can be treated with anti-termite chemicals, and wood is not the only construction material available to mankind anymore. But, can the few existing, and historically important, wood-made structures remain free from termite damage forever? Of course, the answer is “no,” as a several very old, and historically meaningful structures in America are currently infested with numerous termites. One of these termite infested structures happens to be the respected Emanuel AME Church located in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Emanuel AME Church is, perhaps, the most notable church in the United States. City officials are determined to keep the church standing for another “100 years” because of the church’s beauty and significance as a historical landmark. The church was founded in the year of 1816, which makes it the oldest African Episcopal Church in America. The church is already being covered in fumigation tarps in order to eradicate the termite presence. The termite infestation is extensive, and the damage is mainly being done to the church’s roof. The repairs are going to cost at least one million dollars.

The Emanuel AME Church is not the only church in Charleston that has succumbed to termite infestations. For example, located near the Emanuel AME Church is the Citadel Square Baptist Church, which had to close for a few years in order to have a termite infestation eradicated. Those who attended the church were reportedly able to hear the termites chewing on the wood. Also, further down the street from the Emanuel AME Church is the Bethel United Methodist Church. This church underwent three million dollars in repairs after termites destroyed the church’s roof. Several concerned and charitable individuals are donating money for reconstruction efforts to the Emanuel AME Church. Hopefully the famed Emanuel AME Church will be restored soon.

Are you surprised that termite infestations in churches are not more widespread? Do you think that when termite infestations occur within important structures, the infestations are largely unreported by news outlets?

 

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