FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) – Members of a Ferguson church are celebrating every member surviving a tornado strike during Good Friday services in 2011.
Jeannie Edwards played Amazing Grace on a brand-new piano in the sanctuary of Ferguson Christian Church. This music came close to being played at a funeral there. Thirty-one members watched ‘The Passion of the Christ’ on April 22, 2011 – Good Friday. They had just seconds to get out of the sanctuary once tornado warnings sounded.
“That was when the floor,’ Lisa Arconati remembered diving under a table with her kids and husband. ‘Lifted up, and we heard the rumble coming. It literally sounds like you are standing next to a train platform.”
Elder Larry Doggett was the first to go back upstairs when the rumble passed.
“I could see the sky,’ he said.
Brian Glore was at home. He got a call from Pastor Stacy Garner. Garner said the projection screen that Glore installed into the ceiling was gone with the roof. Glore was only a few miles away, but his journey took two hours.
“Definitely, definitely,’ he remembered. ‘We just knew we had a very long, hard road ahead of us to rebuild.”
So Glore, and his crew from K&B Woodworking rebuilt the pulpit, communion table and furniture for the church.
“In the process of rebuilding,’ explained church elder Bob Edwards. ‘We’ve managed to upgrade the building in a number of ways.”
The contractor installed new sprinklers and a crying room for restless babies. However, the church kept the old, rugged, original cross.
“It should have been torn off,’ Arconati said. ‘It should have gone with the rest of the roof. But, it didn’t.”
Jeannie Edwards kept playing “Amazing Grace”, remembering that hip surgery kept her home that day.
“The outcome for me would have been a little bit different,’ she said. ‘Because, I couldn’t move so fast.”
Bob Edwards remembered the tornado that almost leveled the church where he married Jeannie.
“Sure doesn’t look like it, does it?’ he looked around, laughing.
The pews were removed. The church held its first Sunday service since the storm on September 9, 2012. Each and every person who was in a pew on Good Friday 2011, was able to take a seat in new chairs.
“Not one person hurt,’ said elder Larry Doggett. ‘In the whole tornado, not one person hurt. And, that’s just amazing.”
The Ferguson Christian Church will hold is ‘Risen Indeed Revival’ on Saturday October 13, 2012. That is at 303 N. Elizabeth in Ferguson, MO. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., members will have food, activities for kids and a tour of the newly-renovated sanctuary.