JACKSONVILLE, Ark. – The community of Jacksonville has been coming together for more than 24 hours now to pick up the pieces after Friday’s tornado swept through the town.
“It was totally demolished, but our spirits remain high,” pastor Eddie Miller, speaking about his church, New Commandment Church of God in Christ said.
The church was destroyed due to the tornado.
Miller said thankfully, no one was in the church when it was hit, and everyone was okay. The church, however, has been around for years and had just been paid off. Now, Miller says they will have to rebuild it.
The church is destroyed, though a few things in it remained: the crosses on the wall, No Greater Love posters also hanging, and the pastor’s podium with a Bible on it.
“God let us know he did not leave us, nor forsake us,” Miller said.
Miller reminded us that the church is not the building, but the people of God who come together. He said the building can be rebuilt, but God’s people are irreplaceable.
Just across the street, homes were also destroyed.
Angela Terry said she was home alone when the tornado rolled through. She was taking cover in the hallway when she heard the tornado.
“By the time I got in the hallway and took cover, it hit the house and you could just hear it peel the top of the house off,” she said.
Terry said for a few hours she and her husband even feared they had lost their dog. They later found it, traumatized, hiding behind the hot water heater.
Terry said she is heartbroken for her home and said she and her husband are now trying to figure out where to go next.
However, she is grateful for what is most important.
“I feel thankful to be alive,” Terry said.