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Tornado damages A/G church in Texas

At 6:21 p.m. on March 28, a tornado tore through downtown Fort Worth, Texas, leaving a trail of seriously damaged buildings, including Calvary Cathedral (Assemblies of God).

"The building is inoperable," says Pastor Bob Nichols. "We’re meeting in an 1,800-seat tent in the parking lot now. Structural engineers are trying to determine if we’ll have to bulldoze the building."

Despite the estimated $10 million in damage, Nichols says the remarkable thing is that no one was seriously injured.

"We had 530 children there two hours earlier because of our Christian school and day care," he says. "Choir had just called off practice, which is another 60 people who would have been there. There were 100 people in our church at the time — including two women in the 24-hour prayer tower — and no one was seriously hurt."

Nichols and several other people were in a study when they noticed the weather turning bad. Bob could not open the door because of heavy winds. A security guard pushed them to the floor just before the building "shook like a leaf," Nichols says.

"My first thought was, ‘Did anybody not make it?’" he says. "We went through the building that night with crews. Once we determined there was no loss of life, we knew we could rebuild."

Area churches have rallied behind Calvary Cathedral. A Church of Christ offered the use of their facilities to Calvary’s Christian school. Baptist and Methodist churches have stepped in as well.

"We see this as a new beginning," Nichols says. "We’re coming up stronger. People are still doing their prayer shifts at home. We’re sad at the loss of our church, but determined that God is going to get the glory out of this."

— Joel Kilpatrick


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