Former Tulsan Reacts To Tennessee Tornadoes
One area hit hard by a deadly tornado is Jackson, Tennessee. Most of the Union University campus was wiped out as students scrambled to find shelter. A Tulsa native and former Green Country minister now pastors a church right across the street from the campus. News On 6 anchor Craig Day spoke with him to get his thoughts on the tragedy and recovery.
When a tornado took dead-aim at the Union University campus in Jackson, Tennessee, it ripped apart dormitories causing some to collapse. Roofs were also torn off other buildings.
"You often hear the words war zone used, it looks like a war zone, but as I went through the campus yesterday, it's really worse than a war zone," said Wendell Lang.
Lang is the Pastor of the West Jackson Baptist Church which is only a few hundred yards from the University.
"The damage is just devastating. It reminds me of what happened in Moore, Oklahoma a few years ago," said Lang.
Lang is familiar with Oklahoma's severe weather. He's a Tulsa native and was pastor at First Baptist Church in Pryor for 14 years.
Now in Tennessee, Lang says volunteer families at the 3,500 member church will house students in their homes. The church is also giving gift cards to Union University students for clothing and other necessities.
"Students began to stream over to our church Craig, with only the clothes on their backs, a cell phone in their hands and an iPod around their neck. Everything else was just gone," said Lang.
The Church will house and feed disaster relief crews and Union University will also hold some classes there.
Lang says it's important to provide a sense of normalcy for the students and to meet their physical and spiritual needs.
"Prayer is greatly needed as there has been, not only for our student population but for a great deal of our community," said Lang.
"I encourage folks to look to the source of our hope to Jesus Christ," said Lang.
The Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief Organization has sent Lang's Church $5,000 to help with relief efforts.
Disaster relief teams from Oklahoma are also standing by in case they're needed in Tennessee.