The United Methodist Reporter is offering the latest headlines in the RSS format.
Tornadoes destroy churches in Alabama, Georgia Sam Hodges, Apr 28, 2011
PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
A supercell thunderstorm produced at least one tornado near Fairfield, Texas, on April 25.
By Sam Hodges Managing Editor
The tornadoes that swept across much of the South on April 27 destroyed four United Methodist church buildings in Alabama and one in Georgia.
“We have a lot more with damage,” said Danette Clifton, director of communications for the North Alabama Conference of the UMC.
The churches in Alabama that had buildings destroyed are Red Hill UMC near Guntersville; Phil Campbell UMC, in the town of Phil Campbell; Hackleburg UMC, in the town of Hackleburg, and Lakeview UMC, outside Athens.
Ford’s Chapel UMC near Huntsville, one of the oldest churches in the conference, had its old chapel building destroyed. The steeple fell through the roof of the new chapel building.
Ms. Clifton said conference officials are unaware of any deaths related to UMC churches in North Alabama.
“We know we have some churches where members were injured,” she added.
Several other churches in the conference had extensive damage, including holes in the roof and blown out windows.
The North Georgia Conference reported that Vaughn UMC, north of Griffin, had its building destroyed. The home of the youth pastor of Monticello UMC was severely damaged.
Bishop Will Willimon of the North Alabama Conference announced that a special offering for tornado relief would be taken Sunday in that conference’s churches. He added that the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) had agreed to send a “large grant.”
Ms. Clifton said a fuller picture of the damage in North Alabama will emerge.
“Most of the worst hit areas, the police still have blocked off, and our pastors and district superintendents can’t get to them yet,” she said.