'Small Country Church' Damaged By Storms In Copan

Tuesday, May 15th 2018, 6:24 am
By: News On 6

A Copan church suffered damage after a line of severe thunderstorms moved across the Washington County community late Monday.

The Freewill Baptist Church on Highway 10 sustained extensive roof damage.  

Pastor Gene Hester said the building that once stood at the site was destroyed by a tornado in 1991. He bought the property in 1998 and now runs what he describes as a "small country church." It hosts around 30 people each Sunday.

"We have nothing if we don't have hope," Pastor Hester said. "We'll make it. No doubt."

When he stepped into the building Tuesday morning, May 15, he first noticed the instruments they use for worship were safe on the other side of the building - which he calls a blessing.

"Whenever they called and told me, it didn't excite me," he said. "I was told it was on the west end. It's really worse than I thought it was."

Hester said the damage to the building won't hold them back. The church said they don't have insurance, and they are accepting donations.

Farther east in Nowata County, Timberly McCollam sent News On 6 photos of damage in the community of Noxie. She says the storms up rooted trees, knocking them on cars and homes in the area.

No injuries were reported.