First Sunday Services Held Since Lee County Tornado
Seven days after the tornadoes caused destruction in Lee County, people entered church doors to give thanks for their blessings.
“There has been an outpouring of love, and community feeling that’s really lifted everybody up,” Providence Baptist Church member Chuck Adams says.
Providence has been a main resource center in Beauregard. Thousands of people have donated supplies, cooked food, and offered clean-up services for the people in the community that lost their homes.
The same hands that prepared food, and helped neighbors remove debris were the same ones offering a shoulder or handshake at the church service.
“We’ve been able to take care of the situation here, minister to those that are hurting, feeding those that have come in to take care of people, and just helping in so many ways,” Providence Baptist Church member Shirley Dismukes says. “People have really worked together.”
Rusty Sowell has been the pastor at Providence for 35 years.
He says he had a message prepared for Sunday morning, but he enhanced it after what may have been divine inspiration.
“I opened up my Bible at home,” Sowell says. “When I opened it up this little piece of paper fell out of it.”
On that piece of paper was a scripture: Isaiah 41:13.
“And it says ‘for I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not be afraid. I will help you.’ And at that moment, I knew, this is it.”
It may be years before the community gets back on its feet.
Providence’s members are going the extra mile to help their neighbors pick up the pieces.
“Its just a time of looking into your own heart to see how you can be a help, and how God could use you and make you stronger and just be a blessing to others,” Dismukes says.
Providence Baptist will continue to be a resource location through Sunday, March 17th. Three meals per day will be cooked. Church leaders will then decide on a day-to-day basis if it will remain open for tornado victims.