The crew at Ecclesiastical Studios & Sons are longtime experts at church renovations and statuary art and no strangers to the TOP JOB Awards. Last year, they embarked on the mission to restore one of the largest Gothic churches in the Springfield, Mo, diocese, St. Peter The Apostle Catholic Church. The church was built in 1907 in Joplin, Mo, and was in need of some major renovations by 2013. Peeling paint, water damage, cracked plaster and a plain color scheme were all things that needed attention. After a yearlong fundraiser, the church was able to hire E.S.S. to start the renovation.
Unfortunately, one of the crew members, Alex Wendt, was in a near-fatal accident just before the project began. He survived the crash but broke his right arm. and was not able to work on the beginning stages of the project. Fortunately Don's nephew (Austin Wendt) was able to step in, during the beginning phase of the project. The rest of the crew forged ahead, one man short, and Alex was able to return, with only his left arm eight weeks in.
In only 23 short weeks the crew created a dramatic color scheme, rigged scaffolding to reach dramatically sloped ceiling, repaired walls and ceilings, re-plastered, applied ornamental designs above the altar, and refinished multiple statues. Through the obstacles of a difficult job, the dedicated crew stayed focused, working many 12 hour days and Saturdays to complete the project. "Sometimes when things look tough, you just have to work through them and keep painting away and never give up," said Don Wendt.