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Union tornado recapped in upcoming book

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP)–A forthcoming book tells the story of the tornado that hit Union University Feb. 5 and includes stories from students and others who point to God’s care and protection that night.

“God in the Whirlwind: Stories of Grace from the Tornado at Union University” by Tim Ellsworth, Union’s director of news and media relations, is set for a June 1 release by the B&H Publishing Group of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“In the days following the tornado, I began to notice some common themes emerging from the stories I was hearing,” Ellsworth said. “One of those themes was the way in which God providentially spared the lives of our students the night of Feb. 5 -– and how in many of those cases, mere inches were the difference between life and death.”

The book consists of 20 chapters, each a different story about a student or employee at the Jackson, Tenn., campus or one of their family members. Interspersed throughout the book are brief first-person testimonies from students about their experiences during the tornado.

Also included are 16-pages of color photographs by Union photographer Morris Abernathy.

“The accounts you’ll find here aren’t simply survivor stories,” Ellsworth writes in the book’s introduction. “They are stories of faith in the midst of the tornado. They are stories of how God had His way in the whirlwind and storm. And they are potent examples of how a loving God protected the helpless, and used imperfect, sinful people to showcase His miraculous power and His saving grace to the entire world.”

Union President David S. Dockery wrote the foreword to the book.

“The book does not attempt to answer many unresolved and lingering questions with which we continue to struggle,” Dockery writes. “Yet, it does point us to an infinitely powerful and absolute loving God. Somehow, in ways that we will understand in future days, the events associated with the devastating tornado that hit Union University on February 5 help us see that God has a plan and purpose for all things.”

Proceeds from “God in the Whirlwind” will benefit the Union University disaster relief fund. The book will be available at LifeWay Christian Stores.
Released by Union University’s news and media relations office. “God in the Whirlwind” will be available at LifeWay Christian Stores and online at

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