Local Church Rebuilds After Last Year's March 1 Tornadoes

Mar. 3, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM)- Outside Calvary Baptist Church is a damaged steeple that was torn to pieces when the March 1 tornadoes ripped through the church.

"Memories, and that's the reason we kept that steeple. It represents history and memory for us and even though it's not going back on the new church, we didn't want to just chunk it out," says Pastor Don Wilhite.

The storm caused three and a half- million dollars worth of damage, leaving the church to rebuild part of its school, counseling center and the sanctuary.

Pastor Wilhite says the rebuilding stages are long overdue.

"We are disappointed that it's one year later since the storm and all we're standing on is a slab of concrete. Nothing else out here. That's been the holdup, trying to get an appropriate settlement out of the insurance company to allow us to rebuild what we had," added Wilhite.

And as the workers are hard at work building a new worship center, Pastor Wilhite says his church family is still thanking God things weren't worse.

"We have 675 kids in the school, 225 senior adults living on the property and God was good enough to allow the storm to come on a Thursday, not a Wednesday or Sunday, and at 6:30 at night when nobody was here so no one was hurt or injured. We can replace the buildings. We survived and we're going to be stronger and better because of it," he added.