PETAL, MS (WLOX) - The message at Petal Baptist church one day after an EF-3 tornado tore through the town: Tornadoes never hit faith.
Although the Petal Baptist was relatively untouched, just a half-mile down the road, Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist suffered serious damage.
"First thing I saw was that our fellowship hall was totally destroyed," said member Larry Smith. "What made it worse, when I went inside our new sanctuary, it was totally gone, so those things all adding up together was just a tremendous hurt."
Petal Baptist invited Mt. Vernon to its service Sunday as they prayed for healing.
"You just consider this your home, until that home gets restored," said Rev. Brad Eubank of Petal Baptist.
Unfortunately for the congregation, destruction is not unfamiliar. Barely four years ago, Mt. Vernon was severely damaged by different tornado.
"We had just began to get comfortable in our church, and then for this to happen, it was devastating," said Henrine Boyd.
Petal was instrumental in helping Mt. Vernon get back on their feet after the first tornado, and their willingness to help no different now.
"This is our sister church," said Boyd. "Even when we're not in trouble, per say, they have made us welcome."
But, the important force that's helped church members is faith.
"Evidently we're doing something right. We made the devil mad, so we're just going to keep on doing it. We're going to come back stronger. We're going to come back better and God's got it," said Boyd.
Immediately after service, members of both churches went out into the community to help with recovery efforts.