Pastor from Tennessee church speaks out about damage

By DANIELLE JACKSON

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    KINGSTON SPRINGS, Tennessee (WSMV) -- At least 24 tornadoes hit Tennessee. Most of them hit in Middle Tennessee, and are now making Sunday services look a lot different.

In Kingston Springs, some churches were impacted by the tornado. But, it's not stopping them from holding services.

This has been an emotional week for the entire Kingston Springs community after a tornado attacked the community last weekend. Harpeth Baptist Church was just one of the buildings damaged in the destruction.

The church has been standing in Kingston since the 1800s.

A pastor with the church said that these are very trying times, but they have the faith to get through it.

“Mostly, it was the roof of our steeple that was torn off,” Pastor Strickland said. “And from that, a lot of rainwater got inside which caused the sheetrock to fall in. And it's going to take a long time to put it all back.”

The tornado took away parts from the original church and the newest building next to it constructed in 2019. The steeple now lies on the ground after Saturday’s forceful winds.

“It's been pretty overwhelming,” Strickland said. “Every day, we're seeing more and more opportunities for God to be glorified and for the gospel to be spread through this.”

But among the rubble in the community, a good samaritan returned a piece of the steeple to the church.

Strickland showed inside of the original church. There are still Christmas decorations from the last event before the tornado.

Three stained-glass windows were blown out from the tornado too.

“We’re so used to being the help center, the place where we would distribute the help,” Strickland said. “And we just can't right now.”

The sanctuary inside of the other church building remains intact overall. There was only minimal water damage inside.

According to Strickland, the church is a place of refuge. But for the past week, they've needed a helping hand. He's grateful for the outreach.

“Boy, it's hard to take those calls from people just wanting to bring stuff and give help,” Strickland said. “And we just can't take it, and that's backward for us. But, we appreciate even the outreach.”

Currently, the church is holding its Sunday services inside of the Civic Center in White Bluff.

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