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Tornado hits church during Wed. service


KIMBALL, Tenn. (BP)–A tornado disrupted the evening service at a Tennessee church Nov. 14, extensively damaging the building; no one inside, however, was injured.

Members of Kimball Baptist Church, located about 30 miles west of Chattanooga, had taken cover when it became evident they were in danger.

“It happened about 7 o’clock last night, and they were able to take cover with an interior wall,” Richard Lewelling, director of missions for the Sequatchie Valley Baptist Association, told Baptist Press. “They got to a place of safety. If not, it could have been worse.”

Lewelling said he does not know of any other churches in the association that were damaged. He learned about the damage to Kimball Baptist by speaking to a pastor of a neighboring church. As of Thursday morning, he had been unable to reach the pastor of Kimball Baptist, although Lewelling was on his way there to survey the damage.

“I do know that the education building is destroyed,” Lewelling said. “I’ve heard that rest of the church is probably uninhabitable right now.”

The county, Marion, was under a tornado warning at the time. The Associated Press reported that the church’s roof was heavily damaged.


Justin Lawhorne, manager of the Wendy’s restaurant in Kimball, told the Associated Press the tornado touched down about an eighth of mile from his business, which wasn’t damaged.

“I couldn’t get the door open because the outside pressure and wind was so strong,” he said.

About nine people in the town, including three children, sustained injuries, although none of them were thought to be serious, AP reported.

The town is located near Interstate 24, and accidents from the storm shut down the road in both directions for two hours, the Tennessee Highway Patrol told AP.
Michael Foust is assistant editor of Baptist Press.