Community Cleaning Up After Tornado

Friday, March 28th 2008, 6:11 pm
By: News On 6

Members of a Green Country church are cleaning up after a tornado ripped off part of the roof.  A storm swept across parts of Southern Muskogee County on Thursday evening.  It was an F0 Tornado, which means it was weak, but it was still strong enough to do some damage.

News On 6 anchor Craig Day went to the Council Hill community to see the damage firsthand.

When tornadic storms moved through Southern Muskogee County, Council Hill resident Jean Bunch grabbed pillows and hurried to her hallway.

"Then we thought they was over with, so were sitting in the front room and we heard a sound like a wind whistling through a window, and my grandson said Granny, something is flying by the window," said Council Hill resident Jean Bunch.

The tornado missed her home, but the church next door was damaged.  Part of the roof was ripped off of the Abundant Life Church's sanctuary.

"This piece here had been torn off and was sitting back in the trees, and the back side of it had a section similar to the same size rolled back over the other part of the roof and it caved it all in," said Aaron Barker, Church Pastor.

Barker says just after the tornado hit, volunteers from all over the community stepped in to help.  They moved pews, the cross that hung in the pulpit, and even the piano to protect them from water damage.

"They also got up there and got this thing wrapped so that we could protect the walls of the church inside and just keep the damage to a minimal was all we tried to do," said Barker.

Pieces of metal peeled off the roof are now scattered across property behind the church.  But the Pastor says it could have been much worse and he's confident the 20 member congregation will overcome the challenge.

"It's a house of God.  It belongs to him.  He can provide the finances to take care of it.  We lay it all onto him because he's the owner of it.  God is.  We just occupy the building while we're here," said Barker.

The church will hold services Sunday morning, either in another part of the building or maybe even in the sanctuary if repairs can be made soon enough.

A Muskogee company has volunteered its labor to fix the church's roof at no cost.  They hope a lumber company will help provide construction materials to help the church.

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