JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)–Tennessee Baptist Convention President Tom McCoy reiterated his request for a special offering April 6 in the state’s churches to help Union University recover from a Feb. 5 tornado that caused an estimated $40 million in damage to the campus.
“What an amazing Christian impact this university has on young adults from Tennessee and around the world,” McCoy said during a visit to Union’s campus in Jackson, Tenn., March 25. “It’s been 50 days since that tornado ripped through this campus, but Union has its greatest days ahead.
“During that dark night that the tornado struck this campus, Union was set back but not shut down,” McCoy said. “Union was delayed but not derailed. Union will make a total and complete recovery.”
That will happen, McCoy said, because of God’s provision and because of the prayer and financial support from Baptists in Tennessee and elsewhere.
“Every loss of this magnitude has great expense that is not covered under insurance,” McCoy said. “Does Union have insurance? Yes, they have excellent insurance. But there are always expenses above and beyond what insurance will cover. That’s where we come in as Tennessee Baptists.”
McCoy, pastor of Thompson Station Baptist Church, said his church will show a four-minute video provided by Union on April 6. McCoy will give a one-minute appeal and then the church will take an offering for Union.
“It is a simple thing that every church can do,” McCoy said. “It’s not complicated. We’re not asking you to take an entire service. We’re simply asking you to prayerfully consider using Union’s video, making a brief appeal and letting God work on the hearts of your good people in your good churches across our state.”
McCoy toured the campus less than 48 hours after the tornado’s strike that wiped out nearly 70 percent of Union’s student housing. Other buildings on campus also sustained heavy damage –- especially Jennings Hall, where the tornado ripped off much of the roof.
“As we walked through the mass destruction, I was awestruck at the damage,” McCoy recalled. “The loss of the facilities was overwhelming, and yet God’s protection of life was an amazing miracle.”
McCoy said he hopes Tennessee Baptists will use the April 6 offering to “help touch and train young adults, in their minds and in their spirits, being educated here at Union. Help us help these students and this great university.”
Tim Ellsworth is Union University’s director of news and media relations. To view the video of McCoy’s appeal, click here.