16-year-old Steven Sheppard was standing under it when the bolt hit, killing him. Just minutes earlier, Steven had been working inside the church with his family.
His dad found him lying on the ground. The teen was his oldest of three boys.
"Steven he was, he was an all around liked boy. We did everything together. We chopped cotton. He drove me places because he liked to drive," says Steven's dad Nute Sheppard.
At 16, Nute Sheppard says Steven loved being outdoors, playing football and more.
"He liked hunting when he could fishing. And he was out here working. He worked his little heart out."
One of Steven's other passions, singing.
"Oh, he loved singing. When he was a little boy, he begged me. He said, daddy I want you to sing with me, and I'm not a good singer. And I say no I'm not going to do it. I wish I had of."
"In here is the black streak with the burn is the burn mark," says Chief Joseph Riney of the Etowah Police Department.
Chief Joseph Riney was one of the first to respond last night.
He says the storm popped up seemingly out of nowhere.
The Sheppards live right next door to the church, the lightning strike was a freak and tragic accident.
"They left during the lightning storm and they ran home which is next door, just a few feet that's right. And the young one didn't make it," says Chief Riney.
Steven's familiy and friends are comforting each other now.
Chief Riney is stressing in the future to stay inside during any bad storms.
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