Despite deadly storms, ‘the light of the gospel continues’

CELINA—Rapidly developing storms spawned tornadoes and ripped through a series of North Texas communities on Memorial Day weekend, leaving debris, death, and disbelief in their wake. 

Seven people in North Texas were among the 22 who lost their lives across several states as a result of the storms. Homes across the region were reduced to toppled brick, splinters, and mangled metal.

As news stations surveyed the damage in Celina, one camera caught a compelling image—that of a makeshift cross (shown at top right) someone had constructed using two pieces of wood that once belonged to a structure. It was a symbol of the Christlike sacrifice already underway.

As Southern Baptists of Texas Disaster Relief volunteers began deploying to affected areas around the state, members of Legacy Hills Church, a Southern Baptists of Texas Convention church plant in Celina, were helping friends and neighbors begin to pick up the pieces immediately after the storm—even as some suffered damage to their own homes.

“Today was a devastating day for many in Celina,” Robert Welch, senior pastor of Legacy Hills, wrote on Facebook, “but it’s been awesome to see this growing community dig in so deep and care for one another. So proud and grateful for the many [Legacy Hills Church] men and women who were willing to rally immediately and spend their day using their hands, feet, and hearts to help those who lost so much.”

Two days later, Prestonwood Baptist Church Senior Pastor Jack Graham reported in a video posted on social media that the Plano campus had suffered significant damage. Even so, Graham—standing in a light rain and walking amidst a debris field of soggy insulation scattered across the church’s parking lot—said he was proud of the efforts of Prestonwood members who were reaching out to help those in their community.

“You can blow down the walls, you can blow down the church,” Graham said, “but the witness—the light of the gospel—continues.”

Most Read

What does a special-needs family experience when they visit your church?

Editor’s note: The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention has designated July 14 as Disability Ministry Sunday. We walked up to the registration area for the children’s classes one Sunday at the church we were visiting in …

Stay informed on the news that matters most.

Stay connected to quality news affecting the lives of southern baptists in Texas and worldwide. Get Texan news delivered straight to your home and digital device.