New Baptist Church Blown Away By Storm - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/24/04

New Baptist Church Blown Away By Storm

The Temple Baptist Church on Dedeaux Road took a direct hit from Wednesday's tornado. Minutes after it blew through there, church members were already on the property. Jeff Lawson walked through the damage with some church members who said they could not believe what they found.

Missionary Kim McHale and his parents took cover in a building behind the church moments before the tornado hit.

"The lights went out. The wind actually started blowing and almost immediately, it almost sounded like a bomb going off," the Reverend McHale said.

What they saw when they stepped outside was shocking. The new sanctuary the church planned to move into next year was now a pile of steel rubble. Nothing was left standing.

"We have worked for so many years saving money for this new building," Martha Johnson said.

Johnson has been a member of this church for more than 30 years.

"To think about all the years we have saved and struggled to get as far as we have, it was pretty hard." Johnson said.

The school building where Martha teaches houses the elementary portion of Temple Christian Academy. Much of its roof was blown away.

Around the church property, you could see large pieces of sheet metal blown into trees. Other debris was blown hundreds of feet away.

But, in the midst of the devastation, church members kept the faith.

"There is something good that God is gonna bring us."

The old sanctuary the church used for more than 50 years was not severely damaged. Each Wednesday, the church holds a service in that building. Wednesday night's service will go on as planned.

by Jeff Lawson

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