30 September, 2023

Several Tennessee Churches Cope with Losses Resulting from Deadly Tornadoes

by | 6 March, 2020 | 0 comments

(Originally posted Friday, March 6; updated Monday, March 9)

Alive Nashville, a Stadia church plant that started last September, had been meeting on Sundays in a building that was “ground zero” for the tornado that struck East Nashville early Tuesday.

Before and after photos of Alive Nashville’s worship site.

Since the storm, the church has been working to serve one another and others in the neighborhood devastated by the tornado. According to lead pastor Brandon Jacobs‘ Facebook posts, the church has been praying, receiving aid requests, assessing needs, lending a hand and/or connecting victims with people or agencies that can help, engaging in some small-scale cleanup, and determining how to move forward.

Jacobs has posted a number of video updates to Alive Nashville’s Facebook page, including one from Thursday that begins by showing the devastation to the church’s meeting site and then does a quick 360-degree spin showing damage to the area.

On Sunday, the church worshipped at 1006 Fatherland St., about a block south of its former location. On both Saturday and Sunday, people from the church were busy helping their neighbors however they could

Alive Nashville is accepting tornado relief donations at its website, www.alivenashville.com.

IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service) of Noblesville, Ind., announced Friday afternoon that it will be working with Alive Nashville to provide aid and assistance. IDES also has a fund-raising page on its website. (Select “Tornado” on the online portal and 100 percent of the funds will go victims of the Tennessee storms.)

A number of Christian churches and churches of Christ along the paths of the tornadoes have posted messages on their websites and/or Facebook pages, many offering prayers or making arrangements to lend aid to neighbors and help with the cleanup. Some are also raising funds for disaster relief. (See a listing of churches at the end of this article.)

Overall, 25 Tennesseans were killed and dozens more were injured as a result of the storm.

Among those killed were six members of noninstrumental churches of Christ in the state, all of them in the hard-hit city of Cookeville.

The Christian Chronicle reported that Josh and Erin Kimberlin and their 2-year-old son, Sawyer, died in the tornado that hit the city. Erin Kimberlin was the daughter of Rodney Pitts, preacher at the Church of Christ at Colonial Heights in Cookeville. The Kimberlins were workers in that church.

Additionally, Hattie Collins, 4, daughter of Matt and Macy Collins, was killed in the storm. Matt Collins serves as youth minister with Collegeside Church of Christ in Cookeville. Another member of that church, Pat Lane, 67, also was killed.

And Sycamore Church of Christ in Cookeville also experienced a loss to its church family. Bridgette (Ann Marie) McCormick, 12 or 13, who was part of Sycamore’s youth program, was killed, the Christian Chronicle reported.

On Friday, President Donald Trump visited a relief center set up in the gymnasium at Jefferson Avenue Church of Christ in Cookeville. The president was joined by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Some Christian churches and churches of Christ from along the storm’s path that are being proactive with recovery efforts include:

  • Schrader Lane Church of Christ, North Nashville (“Our neighbors . . . can come to the church building to receive food, water, disinfectant supplies, infant supplies, shoes and more.”)
    Website | Facebook
  • Madison Christian Church, Nashville (“We are hosting a clothing drive in East Nashville.”)
    Website | Facebook
  • New Heart Christian Church, Lebanon, Tenn. (“Shout out to let us know . . . if anything is needed. . . . We are putting together a hot meal for the residents of Peyton Manor [Apartments].”)
    Website | Facebook
  • First Christian Church, Cookeville (“First Christian Church . . . is hosting & feeding Team Rubicon, a veteran organization that specializes in disaster relief. They will have 55-80 volunteers from all over the country coming to help.”)
    Website | Facebook

If you know of other churches that were impacted or that are helping with relief efforts, send us a note at [email protected].


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