The First Presbyterian Church in downtown Anchorage raised a new steeple and attached the bell Thursday. The steeple is built with EFIS — or exterior finish insulation system — making it more energy-efficient. 

Rev. Matthew Schultz says the church's previous steeple was damaged in last November's earthquake. The decision to replace it with EFIS is part of an effort to be good stewards of the planet.

"We have a group in the church that is dedicated to making sure that we're environmentally friendly as possible, and this helps in that regard," Schultz said.

He went on to say, "We consider ourselves to be part of a broader network of Christians that understand that it's our duty to take care of the planet, not only for its own sake but also for future generations."

Jess Snider, a church member on the building committee, said more damage was uncovered as the crew was looking to make the initial repair.  

"When they were building the scaffolding, the big bell went off and chunks of wood fell out. And we found out the glue limbs were rotting and the bells were about ready to fall," he said. 

Snider said construction crews hauled away 44 tons of material during the rebuild.

Schultz hopes the scaffolding will be removed by early October.

A bell dedication ceremony is planned for Sunday, Oct. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the church's sanctuary. Schultz says the whole city is invited to attend. 

People can pay to have their name or the name of a loved one added to a plaque on the steeple.

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