Tornado Doesn't Keep Tulsa Church From Worship

Sunday, May 1st 2016, 2:07 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa church is holding services following damage to its sanctuary in last Tuesday's tornado. On Sunday, congregation members met in the recreation hall.

The Winnetka Heights Baptist church on West 49th Street and Nogales.

The church suffered a lot of damage after being hit hard by a tornado. The sanctuary had roof and water damage and the roof was ripped off.

Church members say it isn't the first time a storm has damaged the building.

4/27/2016 Related Story: NWS: Tulsa Tornado Rated EF1, Near 51st And Riverside

“It's a blessing to be here," pastor Todd Ragsdale said.

Ragsdale's message to the congregation at Winnetka Heights Baptist Church was a little different this Sunday.

The church's sanctuary took a hit from an EF1 tornado that blew through west Tulsa, crossing the Arkansas River causing damage in Brookside.

"God's people are not protected from the storms of life and one hit us, but in his grace the church is the people, it's not this building," he said.

Ragsdale spent the week working with insurance adjusters and restoration crews to secure the damaged church and board up the roof.

“You can almost see right now, we have pews moved around, carpet ripped up, they're already taking sheetrock off, so really just the early stages of what's next," he said.

The damaged sanctuary forced members to have services in another room.

Bobby Young says Tuesday's tornado damage is bringing the congregation together.

“We're a close-knit group anyway, but this even draws us closer and we've already heard from people who haven't been here in a while,” Young said. “I think they're like, 'hey I think we need to go back.’”

Ragsdale hopes to have the sanctuary ready to go and rebuilt just in time for school this fall.

Inside Winnetka Heights Baptist Church after the tornado: