Tornado fails to stop Claremont church
    November 29 2010 by wire reports

    When an F-2 tornado tore through Claremont in October, First Baptist Church took a hit.

    The tornado, which came through Oct. 26 around 7:30 p.m. with winds up to 110 miles per hour, blew away the church’s steeple, tore off part of the roof and damaged every Sunday School classroom.

    Part of the roof ripped off the top of First Baptist Church in Claremont formed a cross with its trusses. Members expressed thanks for God’s miracle in not hurting anyone during the storm that came through the area Oct. 26.

    “First Baptist Church of Claremont is on the way to recovery,” said Dennis J. Richards Sr., pastor, in a letter. “It may take us as long as six weeks but we have a place to worship in our fellowship hall. We have a closer knit fellowship because of the storm.”

    Volunteers from North Carolina Baptist Men responded by cleaning up debris and putting a temporary tarp on the roof. Baptist Men helped others in the community as well.

    Winds jerked locked doors of the church open exposing the sanctuary to the storm. But there were only a few loose pews, some carpet damage, broken inside doors, and broken foyer tiles. Dehumidifiers were brought in to dry out the water-damaged carpet and other items. There was much damage left on the grounds and on a walkway connected to the church. 

    On the walkway was left a perfect cross formed out of the wooden beams which were ripped off the roof. Members were back in church the following Sunday, meeting in the basement.

    A local television station reported the steeple was split into at least three pieces; one piece is still missing.

    “It’s absolutely amazing. It just makes my heart break because of the love we have at this church and the outpouring of fellowship that we have, and the praise that we have,” said Richards to a local television station.

    The church’s Oct. 28 Facebook status highlights some of the damage: “Thanks be to God that no one was hurt or killed in the Claremont tornado! Our church building did sustain damage though. We lost our steeple and part of our roof, but God gave us a new cross! Part of the roof trusses that blew out made a perfect cross that God hung over our railing, reminding us that he is still in control!”
    11/29/2010 7:10:00 AM by wire reports | with 0 comments

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