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Church Building Starts--After Tornado Hits
Small congregation in southwest Missouri has home flattened by twister

BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor
 
  Seventh-day Adventist Church in southwestern Missouri is being rebuilt from the ground up after a May 10 tornado obliterated the structure. The local pastor expects services to resume in the Neosho, Missouri, Seventh-day Adventist Church no more than 120 days from now.
 
GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]
The storm struck between 6 and 7 p.m., local time, as the weekly Sabbath was drawing to a close, said Pastor Dwight Seek, who’d been in Neosho only since February.
 
“It came through and completely leveled the church,” Seek told Adventist Review by telephone. “It didn’t leave anything but the basement.”
 
According to Adventist Risk Management, the damage to the 32-year-old church was estimated at $200,000. Rebuilding is underway, Seek said.
 
GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]
“We’re essentially going to build back the church as it was,” Seek noted. The Neosho congregation has about 30 members on the rolls, and 15 or so attend weekly. For now, the nearby Granby Church of the Nazarene is hosting the Neosho congregation’s weekly services; Seek said three churches had offered their facilities.
 
Seek said of the century-old congregation, the church wants “not only a new beginning physically, but a new beginning spiritually. [We'd] like to really see the people and our experience with the Lord be rebuilt, and the building can maybe be symbolic of that.”


 


 
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