Oklahoma church loses sanctuary to storm

An April 26 storm, possibly a tornado, badly damaged the sanctuary at Davis First United Methodist Church in Davis, Oklahoma. Photo by Andrew Himes
An April 26 storm, possibly a tornado, badly damaged the sanctuary at Davis First United Methodist Church in Davis, Oklahoma. Photo by Andrew Himes

“Apparently, we had a tornado,” said the Rev. Steve Harshaw, as he looked over remains of Davis' First United Methodist Church after a storm on the evening of Tuesday, April 26.

The storm caused the building’s roof to collapse into the sanctuary. Some of the church’s stained-glass windows lay shattered on the ground, while others remained intact.

The sanctuary is considered a total loss, Harshaw said.

No one was injured, he added.

As damage to the church was being surveyed and workers began hauling away debris, Harshaw was considering where to have Sunday’s service.

“We’ve had several offers from other churches,” he said. Other possibilities are to use the church’s fellowship hall or to gather on the church grounds, he said.

Church member Ben Randall rushed over to the church as soon as he saw a message on Facebook that the building had received heavy damage. He and others went in to rescue the Bible from the altar, along with the candelabra and offering plates.

The storm may have come at an opportune time, Randall said. The church had been arranging to expand its facility, and then the storm happened.

“I feel like God has a plan for us. He wants us to do something different,” Randall said.

Chris Schutz is on staff of the Oklahoma Conference Department of Communications. Her email is cschutz@okumc.org.

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