Smithville residents give thanks and look for hope

SMITHVILLE, MS (AP) - They called it "Resurrection Sunday" in this north Mississippi town nearly wiped off the map by a killer tornado. Several hundred people gathered Sunday in the parking lot of the demolished Smithville Baptist Church in one of the hardest hit areas of Mississippi.

The crowd, much larger, overflowed a large white tent set up under overcast skies. A stained glass window depicting Jesus with outstretched arms, one of the only parts of the church that wasn't destroyed, was set up in the tent.

Pastor Wes White's message was one of hope and resurrection. When the crowd sang praises, some of them raised their hands toward the very heavens that spawned the killer tornado that wrecked their town and took four people affiliated with church.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.