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La. tornado destroys church, delays NOBTS chapel

NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- An EF-3 tornado that touched down in eastern New Orleans yesterday (Feb. 7) heavily damaged a Southern Baptist church's facility and briefly interrupted a chapel service at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Initial reports estimated 250 homes damaged with 31 people injured. No fatalities have been reported. The tornado -- one of several to strike Louisiana Tuesday -- devastated the three-building campus of Suburban Baptist Church in New Orleans, a predominately African American congregation. Pastor Jeffery Friend and his wife Stephanie were not injured, though their home was heavily damaged, Stephanie Friend told Louisiana's Baptist Message newsjournal.