‘Dear Lord,’ please help us: In tornado-ravaged South, stories of hope emerge as churches, ministries launch disaster relief efforts (with Jeremy D. Smith, reporting from Tuscaloosa, Ala.). Page 1 lead.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Moments before a tornado wiped out the Central Church of Christ building, six students huddled in a small cinderblock closet at the church.
Carl Naylor started to pray, but he managed just two words before the twister came.
“By the time he said ‘Dear Lord,’ our ears started popping, and hairs stood up on our arms,” said Caleb Durden, a Central member whose brother, Trae, serves as campus minister. “Glass was hitting us in the head. Debris. We had glass and rust and just pieces of metal in our hair.”
The students — all active with the Tide 4 Christ campus ministry — couldn’t hear anything as the storm drowned out the heavenly plea of Naylor, whose home congregation is the Forrest Park Church of Christ in Valdosta, Ga.
“The old saying is, ‘A tornado sounds like a freight train,’” said Andrew Broadfoot, who calls the Beltline Church of Christ in Decatur, Ala., home. “Well, it almost sounded like 10 freight trains. We were lucky that that room held.”
After about 15 to 20 seconds, the noise quieted.
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