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'God is here': Family leaning on faith as they plan to rebuild church destroyed by tornado

Posted at 9:18 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 22:18:42-04

Bell County Judge David Blackburn said over 100 homes and other structures were in the path of the EF3 tornado that tore through the southern part of the county. In its path was the Victory Baptist Church.

The church had been a staple in the community for decades, but now all that remains is the foundation the place of worship once sat on. Pastor Billy Borho has been the head of the church for the past 43 years. Tuesday night he got a call he wasn't prepared for.

"We’re crushed by what we see but God has given us the strength. I’ve looked in the Bible, it doesn’t say anywhere in there that I can quit," said Borho.

"The guy just called and said yall's church is gone," Borho said.

Leigha McNeil

His granddaughter Haley Brown said, "It was dark last night but when you see it in the daylight today it just takes your breath away."

The sanctuary was lifted from its foundation. The tin roof ripped off. All that remains is the red carpet that lined the isles and the nails sticking out of the floor where the pews once were.

"We’ve seen pictures before, but no pictures can tell you what it looks like. We're heartbroken, but I'm t peace. I'm at peace," said Borho.

Alongside his granddaughter and other loved ones, sifted through the rubble Wednesday searching for anything they can salvage. Brown returned to the church Tuesday night wan was able to save a few bibles, church financial reports, and other items her grandfather held close. As they continue to clean up, Brown's mind is on recovery without insurance coverage.

Leigha McNeil

Brown said, "When we got out here, they didn’t allow us to have insurance because there’s not a fire hydrant close and we can’t get a fire hydrant because we operate on a well, so insurance wouldn’t accept us. The church is not a building, it’s us and home is us. So, we’re all here and that’s all that matters. It’s very devastating, we’re going to rebuild and make new memories."

Even though the church is gone; Brown and her grandfather's faith is unshaken.

"The only thing that wasn’t untouched was my desk and the Bibles and stuff that I was using to read and study. There was no devastation, nothing to that desk and that chair in those boxes. Everything else in the room was destroyed but that room was protected, that place was protected. I’ll tell you what I think, I think God is saying it’s all in the word of God," said Borho.

"God is here and he’s showing us that it’s not about things it’s about him," said Brown.

Leigha McNeil

Pastor Broho is still planning to hold Easter Sunday service at 11 a.m. at the very place his church once stood. Celebration Church out of Georgetown will be assisting with the service by providing a tent and a sound system to ensure Easter worship can go on.

If you would like to donate to the rebuilding efforts, CLICK HERE.