Roofing a house of worship

Reliant Roofing restores the roof on St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Florida

In 1881, ground was broken and the cornerstone laid for St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Fernandina Beach, Fla. Three years later, the first service was held in the new Gothic Revival building. In 1892, much of the church was destroyed by fire, requiring 15 months to restore. During the 1980s and 1990s, significant building and restoration activities were undertaken including the present-day office buildings.

During 2021-22, the church’s main sanctuary metal shingle roof system was replaced by Jacksonville, Fla.-based Reliant Roofing, which previously worked with the church’s maintenance staff.

“Our journey began when we were entrusted with the task of replacing a massive shingle section that adorned the classroom and office segment of the revered church building,” says Tim Conlan, president of Reliant Roofing. “This undertaking marked the genesis of a partnership that would soon encompass the reroofing of the church’s iconic main sanctuary.”

Material selection

In August 2021, the Reliant Roofing team began work on St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The first step was choosing appropriate materials to usher in a new era of durability and aesthetics.

“We diligently presented a range of roofing options to the building owner during the budgeting phase,” Conlan says. “This encompassed designer shingles and synthetic slate, showcasing our versatility in catering to unique customer preferences.”

Left to right: New roof system installation in progress; Team members fasten SECUROCK® Brand Gypsum-Fiber Roof Boards on the roof deck.

Reliant Roofing’s client selected Berridge Manufacturing 24-gauge aluminum-zinc-alloy-coated steel (Galvalume®) Victorian Shingles with Kynar 500® finish in red and Soprema® LASTOBOND® SHIELD HT SBS polymer-modified bitumen self-adhering underlayment.


The church’s main sanctuary’s roof area presented a host of architectural complexities with its myriad steep-slope sections and dormers ranging from 19:12 to 22:12.

Before installing the new roof system, the team removed 40,700 square feet of existing metal shingles and multiple layers of No. 30 asphalt-saturated felt underlayment from the wood deck. To ensure the project’s seamless progression, the team executed the tear-off and dry-in processes in small, manageable sections to safeguard against afternoon rains that could have compromised the project’s integrity.

The church’s main sanctuary’s roof presented a host of architectural complexities with its myriad steep-slope sections and dormers.

“Rejuvenating the church’s sanctuary roof was not without its challenges,” Conlan says. “During the tear-off of the existing roof, our crew discovered and replaced several water-damaged sections of dimensional lumber. Our craftsmen meticulously refurbished the custom ridge metal caps, decorative accent pieces attached to the shingles and existing flashing. The steeple and architectural cornice pieces also demanded special attention and were painstakingly rebuilt to their former glory.”

Maneuvering around multiple dormers also posed obstacles.

“Perhaps the most formidable hurdle lay in keeping the new metal shingles perfectly aligned as they enveloped the numerous dormers,” Conlan says. “A majority of the project was executed from ladders and man-lifts, requiring precision and the utmost safety precautions.”

Reliant Roofing partnered with Suncoast Roofing Supply, Tampa, Fla., to support the project.

“I had the privilege of working with Reliant Roofing’s entire team,” says Robert Benincasa, account executive for Suncoast Roofing Supply. “Their cohesive approach, detailed preparation and dedication to excellence were on full display throughout the project. This roofing project highlighted many of Reliant Roofing’s strengths and serves as a clear example of innovation and collaboration from beginning to end. The project demanded excellence, thorough preparation, clear communication, a unique vision and a strong determination to satisfy the needs and challenges faced without compromise.”

A treasured space restored

In April 2022, the Reliant Roofing team completed work on St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on time and with no safety incidents. From material selection to execution, the team exhibited meticulous planning and a commitment to delivering a stellar result.

“The culmination of this intricate project is a testament to unwavering collaboration with the church’s dedicated staff,” Conlan says. “Our team seamlessly synchronized efforts to ensure every aspect of the project met the highest standards of craftsmanship. The transformation of the church’s main sanctuary roof stands as an exemplar of our team’s expertise, dedication to quality and ability to surmount the most complex challenges. It is a project that transcends the realm of roofing to become a symbol of our commitment to safeguarding and enhancing our clients’ most treasured spaces.”

Left to right: A Reliant Roofing team member installs new metal shingles; During the tear-off process, crew members discovered and replaced several water-damaged sections of dimensional lumber.

PROJECT NAME: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

PROJECT LOCATION: Fernandina Beach, Fla.

PROJECT DURATION: Aug. 19, 2021-April 21, 2022

ROOFING CONTRACTOR: Reliant Roofing, Jacksonville, Fla.

ROOF SYSTEM TYPE: Kynar 500®-coated Galvalume® shingles

ROOFING MANUFACTURERS: Berridge Manufacturing Co., San Antonio; SOPREMA,® Wadsworth, Ohio; USG Corp., Chicago

CHRYSTINE ELLE HANUS is Professional Roofing’s associate editor and an NRCA director of communications.


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