Pastor tearfully recites Bible verse after tornado hits church

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The cross at First Cedar Valley Baptist Church in Salado, Texas remains intact after a tornado destroyed most of the church building and caused the ceiling to collapse on April 13, 2022. Most of the rubble that remains of the building have since been cleared. outside while the cross remains. |

After a tornado ripped through a church in Texas last week, leaving behind only a cross hanging on a wall in the sanctuary, the pastor tearfully quoted Romans 8:28, declaring that “everything works together for good.”

The Cedar Valley First Baptist Church in Salado was one of three churches, several homes and buildings destroyed by an EF-3 tornado that ripped through and leveled the area Tuesday with winds of 165 miles per hour.

The Enhanced Fujita Scale, which assigns ratings to tornadoes based on their wind speed, defines an EF-3 tornado as a “strong” tornado with maximum sustained winds ranging from 136 to 165 miles per hour that inflict damage. “serious”. Maximum sustained winds for Tuesday’s storm were just 1 mile per hour from qualifying for category EF-4, a “violent” tornado with maximum sustained winds ranging from 166 to 200 miles per hour that is inflicting “devastating” damage.

“The tornado originated in Williamson County, but the track in Bell County is estimated to be nearly 13 miles long with a duration of approximately 30 minutes,” the National Weather Service said in a statement.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued disaster declarations for Bell and Williamson counties on Wednesday, a day after the tornado left a path of destruction in central Texas.

The First Baptist Church in Cedar Valley was nearly destroyed except for a few walls that barely remained standing amid the rubble and a wooden cross that remains standing at the site of the church which has since been leveled to its foundation. The destruction of the church five days before Easter Sunday did not stop Pastor Donnie Jackson from holding Easter services there.

Abbott joined the pastor and church members on Saturday, where he also delivered a message of encouragement. “A few days ago a church was here,” he said. “The only thing left of the church is this cross.”

“The cross survived,” Abbott added. “The pastor of this church clarified that the church still survives because the church is so much more than just a building. The church is the people who gather in this building, the people who come together.

At a press conference on Saturday, Jackson explained what he considered a miracle from God: “I want to make a point about something. We had a cross hanging on the wall when you walked in. In the sanctuary between the gates, everything was destroyed, but this cross was never touched.

Abbott and Texas officials assembled at the press conference cheered as Jackson proclaimed, “Tomorrow morning we’re going to have service on the slab.”

“That building is gone, but the church is stronger than ever, and I know God will help us build back even stronger than before,” Jackson said. “In the spirit of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we will celebrate the resurrection” of First Cedar Valley Baptist Church.

While much of the rubble consisting of the remains of the church had been removed from the site by the time of Saturday’s press conference and Sunday’s Easter services, ABC News affiliate WFAA broadcast to what the church looked like shortly after the tornado ripped through the central Texas community. The report showed the cross was perfectly intact amid the rubble and collapsed ceiling and exposed pink insulation that had fallen on a chandelier.

“He is still anchored. It was not damaged. What does that tell you? Jackson asked.

In addition to the tornado that caused the destruction of the First Cedar Valley Baptist Church, the storm that passed through Bell County last week produced a large amount of hail. One hailstone had a diameter measuring 5.676 inches at its maximum diameter, nearly breaking the record for the largest hailstone recorded in Texas, which had a diameter of 6.4 inches.

Damage from last week’s tornado extended far beyond the First Cedar Valley Baptist Church. At the press conference, Abbott explained that while 70 homes and two additional churches were destroyed due to the storm, no lives were lost due to the weather.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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