Idabel church, destroyed by tornado, holds Sunday service
IDABEL, Okla. (KTEN) — The tornado that plowed through Idabel on Friday evening destroyed Trinity Baptist Church.
But it did not stop Pastor Danny Palmer from leading his congregation in Sunday Sunday morning worship.
"What you see right behind me is just a building; it's just brick and mortar," he said. "It reminds us again, the church is people, and we were reminded ... again yesterday ... the church still stands strong."
The heartwarming message brought people from across Oklahoma to the ruins to lend a hand. Lenard Bean, a Vietnam veteran from Shawnee, Oklahoma, said he felt that it was the right thing to do.
"God put it in my heart to drive down here today to help out some," he said.
The National Weather Service finished up its evaluation of the Idabel tornado on Monday afternoon. Meteorologists determined that the twister stretched over 58 miles, with Trinity Baptist taking a direct hit.
"As far as commercial buildings, this is the worst damage we have seen here," said NWS meteorologist Charlie Woodren. "140 mph winds with this church here completely destroyed."
The Oklahoma State Election Board declared an election emergency in McCurtain County; Trinity Baptist was the county's polling location.
Voters will instead cast their ballots on Tuesday at Calvary Missionary Church in Idabel, which was not heavily damaged by the tornado.