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Storms damage 4 Alabama Baptist churchescomment (0)

February 2, 2012

Storms damage 4 Alabama Baptist churches

As morning dawned Jan. 23, light shone on four Alabama Baptist churches hit by tornadoes that ripped through their individual communities.

The church with the most damage was Ephesus Baptist, Sprott, in Cahaba Baptist Association.

“The roof looks like it just folded down into the church,” said Pastor Henry LeVert, noting that while the sanctuary was destroyed, the fellowship hall remained intact. The 25-member congregation planned to gather for church in the fellowship hall the following Sunday.

Bill Wallace, director of missions for Cahaba Association and a member of Ephesus, said many community volunteers helped remove most of the pews from the rubble, the only items that were salvageable.

Although the recovery process will be lengthy, Wallace said he is energized and ready to get moving. “I hope to see the site [cleaned up] quickly … and go ahead and get started on rebuilding,” he said.

LeVert said, “We lost a church building, but we didn’t lose the church. We’re still there (at the same place) as a church.”

And “God is just using [people] in ways that you would never think about,” he said, noting the monetary donations from the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and people in the community.

“[The church] can certainly testify to how good God’s been and how good [people] have been (in helping the church),” LeVert said.

The other churches damaged by the storms were First Baptist, Center Point, in Birmingham Baptist Association; First Baptist, Clay, in North Jefferson Baptist Association; and Smithville Baptist, Bessemer, in Mud Creek Baptist Association.

First, Center Point, had minor roof damage, while First, Clay, had several windows blown out, a porch to the fellowship hall torn away and an overhead walkway connecting the sanctuary to the children’s church trailer destroyed. The children’s playground also was destroyed, and a shed with tools and a lawn mower was lost.

Smithville had roof damage and the church sign was destroyed.

Even though their buildings were damaged, First, Clay; First, Center Point; and Smithville are serving the damaged communities around them (see story, page 1).

For information on how to help, visit www.sbdr.org.  (TAB)

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