New Vision graced with new roof

name2After over two years of dealing with a leaky roof and receiving no assistance from insurance companies, New Vision Church of the Nazarene in Raymore has received a fresh sheet of shingles — all by donation.
The roof, which is original to the structure, was being considered for replacement by the church at the start of 2011.
“As we were gathering bids, they were coming in anywhere from thirty-five to forty thousand dollars,” said the church’s pastor, Jason Matters. That expense is nearly a third of New Vision’s operating budget for the entire year.
In April 2011, a severe thunderstorm swept through Cass County and brought with it plenty of hail and, subsequently, plenty of damage. New Vision’s roof, which is about the size of five large houses, took quite a beating and needed repair. The church decided to submit a claim to their insurance company, as many other roofs around the church were being fixed under insurance policies.
“Our thought was ‘We are not trying to gyp the insurance company; we know that this roof is old and needs to be replaced,’” said Pastor Matters. “‘But at the same time, if there is damage on the roof caused by hail then they need to cover it.’”
After they submitted the claim to their insurance, a claims agent came out to the site and filed what Matters calls a “sketchy” report, saying that there was no hail damage on the roof. The church asked for a second inspection and the insurance company declined.
Then, in the spring of 2012, another storm which brought hail swept through Raymore, causing even more harm to the roof.
“The building next door to us, the building just to the south of us — their insurance companies covered their roofs,” remarked Matters. “So we were like ‘Well, rather than push this old claim…here’s a brand new one.”
Once that claim was filed, the insurance company sent out the same inspector to assess the damage caused by the storm. The result was a mirror image to the first ordeal: the inspector claimed that no damage to the roof was caused by the hail.
The church decided that it was time to push the issue since the roof was leaking even more and they were being taken advantage of by the insurance company. To begin the process, New Vision had to find a contractor and an engineer that would be able to convince the insurance company of their false assessment.
After the relationship with the first contractor fell through, the blessing they needed walked right through the church’s front door.
Randy Smith, owner of Higher Roofing (a name he chose to reflect the integrity of the company), was replacing the roof of a business next to New Vision when he looked over and realized that the church needed a replacement as well.
“Something told him ‘just go,’” said Matters. “He wasn’t planning on stopping in or knocking on the door. We had twenty-eight roofers come in that day. He just felt led to stop by and give us his business card.”
The pastor felt good about his initial meeting with Smith and followed up by checking on his work. To Matters’s satisfaction, the roofer had a great track record.
“He’ll tell me to this day, ‘I always felt like I would end up getting a roof on this building for you guys somehow,’” Matters said.
The church gladly handed the project over to Smith and said they would pay for the engineer if he would find one for them. In heart-breaking fashion, the engineer that reviewed the roof said the old shingles did not show the signs of hail needed to win a claim. Ultimately, the church lost the battle with the insurance company.
Ready to pay for the entire replacement themselves, New Vision had the engineer work with Smith to get an estimate for new shingles. In January of this year, the church had a “Pledge Day” for the roof where they were able to raise $27,000, which was still $10-15,000 short of what was needed.
Smith then began to work his contact list to see if there was any company with a charitable spirit. The roofer has a solid working relationship with the regional director for GAF, the nation’s largest manufacturer of commercial and residental roofing, and the company was interested in the church’s story.
New Vision submitted a proposal to GAF and a representative for the company came out to take photographs of the damage. When all was said and done, GAF decided to donate all of the shingles needed for a full roof replacement. The donation is worth about $15,000.
Coupled with the money pledged by the church, all labor and materials are covered and there will even be some money left over.
The roof is not all to the story, either. Through the process, Smith, who had just moved back to the area, found his new church in New Vision Church of the Nazarene, and Pastor Matters has been happy to have him as part of the congregation.
New Vision is located at 100 S. Sunrise Drive in Raymore. Randy Smith of Higher Roofing can be contacted through his company’s website, higherroofing.com.

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