Church moves forward despite devastating tornado damage

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Saint John Baptist Church on Desha Road outside of Tappahannock is no more. The building was shredded by a devastating tornado that ripped through the area last week, but even the worst tornado didn’t stop their Sunday worship.

“The building itself is totally lost,” said Deacon William Dockery

Members of Saint John Baptist are hopeful despite the damage of a tornado now threatening the life of their church.

“We cancelled bible study and thank God we did because we would’ve been here right in the heart of that storm, ” said Dockery.

A 145-year-old faith-family helping others is now in need of a helping hand. Other churches now rally around Saint John. Beulah Baptist Church is where nearly 100 of Saint John’s members worshiped on Sunday.

“They don’t have service on 4th Sunday see. They allowed us to use their facility,” Dockery explained.

Beale Memorial Baptist just up the road offered up prayers and shelter for disaster relief teams.

“We ask God for healing for them and strength,” said Interim Pastor Rick Hudock.

“We are so glad to know that we have a community and we have a family that is going to work with us and stand by us to the end,” said Dockery.

Congregants walk through the rubble looking down but they’re pressing forward.

“We have been talking about getting a new church for the longest time,” said Joyce Wallace.

“Even though we have obstacles in our path. We are going to make it,” said Dockery.

Members of the church say they can’t fathom just how much money it’ll take, but in time, the Saint John Baptist Church will rebuild.

For complete tornado aftermath coverage, click here.

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