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Steeple People, Campbellsville Industries in Running for Coolest Thing Made in KY

March 16, 2024


Campbellsville Industries is in the running for Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky. Each year, Kentuckians across the Commonwealth nominate and vote for the “Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky.”

With nearly 70 years of experience, 20,500 customers in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and other foreign countries, it’s no surprise that Campbellsville Industries was nominated for the title.

One of 34 nominees, Campbellsville Industries, better known as “The Steeple People,” is the oldest and largest steeple manufacturer in the U.S.

Beginning as a work-study program at then Campbellsville College, Campbellsville Industries built its first chapel spire more than half a century ago and the rest has been history.

“One day a church approached the college shop manager and asked if they could build a steeple for their church,” Sapp said. “The manager of the shop, Herb Keeton, decided that the ideal steeple should be lightweight, yet structurally strong and as maintenance free as possible.”

Fast forward to the end of the project. The church was thrilled with its new steeple and business soon began rolling in, earning the company its nickname, “The Steeple People.”

Uniquely handmade from start to finish in Campbellsville, the manufacturing company has several feats already, including the largest prefabricated steeple in the world, as recognized in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records.

Not only the premiere manufacturer of steeples, but Campbellsville Industries is also in the business of restoration.

With detailed records of every project that has been created and finished at CI, the manufacturer makes the headache of repairs a breeze by simply referring back to original blueprints for specifics.

Mark Sapp, president of sales/marketing/production, Barry Parsons, treasurer/president of estimating and Jayme Shoopman, president of drafting and design, work side by side to deliver the best quality, pricing and product design, whether it’s creating church steeples, cupolas, domes, dormers, clocks, towers or any other metal accessory you may desire.

“We have tens of thousands of customers and make just about anything you can think of, that’s why we call ourselves “The Steeple People … PLUS!” Sapp said.

According to Sapp, Parsons and Shoopman, architectural flair has begun phasing out, leaving harsh, minimalist lines.

“We have been concerned by the continuing loss of our American architectural heritage, as we see cupolas and clock towers disappear from some of our most historic architectural landmarks,” Sapp added.

“These towers end up just being removed, usually because of the deterioration and neglect,” Parsons said. “The cost of reproducing these towers in conventional materials and construction techniques is preventing many county governments from replacing them once they’re knocked down.”

And that’s where the Steeple People come in, offering affordable, lightweight and maintenance-free products with the promise of quality craftsmanship and durability in every product.

“All three of us have been here for a long time and I think that’s because we love what we do and we believe in the products that we make,” Sapp said. “And I have to brag on our employees because they really do deserve the recognition for what they do. I really do believe that our steeples are the ‘Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky.’ ”

But the company can’t win the title on its own.

One of 34 nominees, having advanced to the Top 16, Campbellsville Industries needs votes to bring home the title.

To vote, go to coolestthingky.com and follow the prompts. Vote for Campbellsville Industries every day until March 24 to ensure it advances as the list dwindles to name a winner, which will be announced the week of April 22.


Campbellsville Industries