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.
"Were meeting in an 1,800-seat tent in the parking lot
now. Structural engineers are trying to determine if well
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
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 Calvarys Christian
school. Baptist and Methodist churches have stepped in as well.
"We see this as a new beginning," Nichols says. "Were
coming up stronger. People are still doing their prayer shifts at
home. Were sad at the loss of our church, but determined that
God is going to get the glory out of this."