Baptist steeple toppled in Texas storm

Members of South Garland Baptist Church gathered Wednesday to thank God that no one was hurt in the Tuesday storm that caused damage to their building.

By Ken Camp

Members of a Texas Baptist church that suffered major storm damage met for prayer in the parking lot Wednesday night to give thanks that no one was injured.

Severe storms that swept through the Dallas area Aug. 13 toppled the steeple and ripped air conditioning units from the roof of South Garland Baptist Church.

High winds and heavy rain hit Garland around 7:15 p.m. In addition to demolishing the church’s steeple and air conditioning, winds also damaged the roof, downed a utility line, blew the glass out of an elevated sign, felled several trees and blew heavy metal bleachers from an adjoining recreation area onto the church’s parking lot.

“While it is difficult to look at and think about, I am grateful to God that no one was injured," Deacon Chair Michael Cole said. "Minutes before the storm hit the area, there were multiple people at the church preparing for events.” 

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A group of teenagers had gathered at the church but already moved to a party at a member’s home before the storm. Similarly, members of a committee had assembled at the church before going to a remote assignment.

Two people were inside the church building when the storm hit—Joyce Still, the director of children’s ministries and interim preschool director, and her daughter, Rachaele. Both sought shelter in a downstairs room, and neither was injured.

Until the electricity is restored and the city declares the building safe for occupancy, the church will not be able to use its facility, Pastor Larry Davis said.

During the gathering Wednesday evening, Davis and members thanked God for protection of lives and asked guidance for the immediate future. Leaders were exploring alternative sites for worship on Aug. 18.

Ken Camp is managing editor of The Baptist Standard.