Historic 1899 Church Topped with Custom Red DaVinci Shake Roof
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kronborg, Neb. has been through some terrifying weather in its 118-year history. After straight-line winds and large hail struck the church, parsonage and fellowship hall in 2014, the congregation went in search of new siding, windows and roofing.
“Danish churches like ours are known for our red and white roofs, which tie back to the colors of the Danish flag and the heritage of our church,” says Gene Hansen, a member of the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. “Those colors identify us. We knew we needed to replace the roof with a product that could help protect the church more in the future. However, we still wanted those special colors.”
The church members had actually started the process of deciding on a new metal roof in 2013. The storm changed all that.
“We saw how the metal was destroyed on our fellowship hall by the severe weather conditions. We decided to seek out alternative roofing that we could depend on to protect our church,” says Hansen. “Our contractor recommended we consider the DaVinci Roofscapes products.
“I was impressed by the quality, durability and selection of the DaVinci composite shake roofing. Once we discovered the company could create a custom color red for the shingles, that truly sealed the deal.”
Congregation members voted to install DaVinci Shake roofing in the custom red color on both the church and the hall in 2016. “The durability and beauty of this roof really spoke to the church members,” says Nick Paschke, president of Paschke Brothers Construction. “The composite roofing answers so many challenges for this project. We were removing old wood shingles, metal and other roofing products. As we tackled the steepness of the steeple, the lightweight nature of the polymer roofing really helped us.”
Weathering the Storms
Located in a rural area of Nebraska, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church has always been subject to harsh weather conditions. The original church structure, plus the parsonage, barn and out building, were all constructed in 1880. And then again by a tornado in 1899. Within the same year the congregation raised funds and rebuilt the church properties.
Over the years other storms attacked the church. However when the 2014 severe weather hit, the results were dramatic.
“There was no question we needed full replacements on our roof, windows and siding,” says Hansen. “Before the storm, some cedar shake shingles were starting to blow off . Others were weathering badly. The storm just ripped through two layers of those shakes that had been in place for decades. And, the fellowship hall roof was totally destroyed in the storm. We had no other option than to replace the roofs.”
When Paschke recommended the DaVinci roofing product, several church members took hammers to the roofing tile samples. They wanted to assure themselves that the impact-resistant material would not be dented by future hail storms. Convinced of the durability of the product, peace-of-mind prevailed. Now the church and fellowship hall once again have their signature red roofs overhead and contented parishioners below.