Four months after an EF-3 tornado heavily damaged Suburban Baptist Church, the congregation assembled Sunday, June 11, for the first gathering on its campus since the storm.
The message to the community during this block party was strong – the members have not given up and plan to return to full ministry in the neighborhood when their facilities are rebuilt.
Many of the congregants who showed up shared moments of laughter and a few thankful tears about how far God had taken them since the tornado destroyed the worship center and damaged two other buildings, Feb. 7.
Pastor Jeffery Friend said with the help of others, they have not missed a worship service as a church family and are thankful for the help of about 100 other churches who have volunteered their time and financial resources to help with the rebuilding effort.
“It’s a miracle we didn’t have to go without meeting for a single Sunday,” Friend said. “It amazes me that people showed up onsite to do the work, the exact work I needed to be done. God preplanned and pre-trained individuals to work in the situation that was predestined to happen so I don’t have to worry about if it wasn’t going to happen. I just wondered who.
“We always preach and teach ‘anyway you bless me Lord I’ll be satisfied’ and then when something happens, we panic,” he continued. “I chose not to panic because I realized the Lord told me, ‘Though you have no insurance, you have assurance in me,” and I found peace and comfort in that.”