As the Evangel
heads into the 21st century, it continues to examine key world
events from a biblically grounded perspective. Perhaps no other
event will shape the early years of this century more dramatically
than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This selection
introduced the extensive coverage the Evangel gave that infamous day in its October 28, 2001,
September 11 begins
as any other Tuesday for Stanley Praimnath, an assistant vice
president of loan operations at Fuji Bank Limited in New York
City. As is customary, he arrives at his desk on the 81st floor
of the World Trade Center south tower by 8:30 a.m., before co-workers
arrive. Here he spends time reading his Bible and praying.
“For some reason, I gave
the Lord a little extra of myself that morning during prayer,” says
the 44-year-old Praimnath, who is also a deacon and Sunday school superintendent
at Bethel Assembly of God in Queens, N.Y. “Over and over I said, ‘Lord,
cover me and all my loved ones with Your precious blood.’”
Fifteen minutes later, he is retrieving
phone messages when a red-orange flash catches his eye. Outside his window,
flames cough black smoke as a result of American Airlines Flight 11 plunging
into the WTC north tower next door. Praimnath puts down the phone.
Watching fireballs fall to the
ground, Praimnath tries unsuccessfully to call his boss in the north tower.
“Go, go, go,” he says
to Delise, a temporary worker, the only other person around. “Let’s
get out of here.”
They rush to the 78th-floor sky
lobby to catch an express elevator down and are joined by three top Fuji executives.
At ground level they are met by a security guard. “Don’t leave
the building,” the guard says. “A plane accidentally hit the north
tower; you’ll be safer inside because of falling debris.”
Praimnath and the executives return
to the elevator, but Praimnath, sensing uneasiness in his soul, sends Delise
home. The three other men head off to their departments. Praimnath will never
see them again.
As Praimnath enters his office,
his phone is ringing. A friend from Chicago asks Praimnath if he heard about
the north tower being hit. He assures her all is fine.
But all is not fine. It is 9:03
a.m. and United Airlines Flight 175 is staring him in the face.
—John W. Kennedy, John Cockroft
and Peter K. Johnson
miraculously survived the impact of Flight 175 just yards from
where he stood. He continues to testify in churches across the
nation about God’s protecting hand on his life.