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Volunteers respond to Caraway after two Baptist churches are damaged by tornado

The roof of First Baptist Church, Caraway, was damaged by an apparent tornado that touched down in the area Oct. 31. Photo by Jody Carter, American Red CrossRead update posted below this story...

CARAWAY - Two Arkansas Baptist churches were damaged by a tornado that reportedly touched down near Caraway Oct. 31. The roof of the main building at First Baptist Church, Caraway, was blown off, according to Bill Cantrell, Arkansas Baptist State Convention disaster relief director. New Hope Baptist Church near Caraway also received damaged as well. The extent of the damage to New Hope is not known at this time. 

The feeding unit of Current-Gaines Baptist Association, Corning, is being deployed, as is the shower unit of Mt. Zion Baptist Association, Cantrell said. Recovery units from Walnut Street Baptist Church and Tri-County Baptist Association also are headed to the area.

Cantrell said all units were in place and serving Friday, Nov. 1, with the Current-Gaines feeding unit preparing and serving 500 meals.

Damage to New Hope Baptist Church.No one was injured in the storm, Caraway Police Chief William Hicks told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. For a time, give Hicks said Caraway children who were trick-or-treating for Halloween were reported missing. They were found later in a resident’s storm cellar where they sought refuge.

“We were lucky,” Hicks told the Democrat-Gazette, referring to the town being spared from injuries.

A National Weather Service survey crew from Memphis that inspected damage confirmed Friday afternoon that an EF1 tornado cut through the town about 7 p.m. Thursday as a cold front crossed eastern Arkansas, the newspaper reported.

“It was a well-developed storm,” the Democrat-Gazette quoted weather service meteorologist Tom Salem of Memphis as saying. “Before the tornado came, there were straightline winds in front of it.” 

The Arkansas Baptist News will post more updates as they are available.

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Reader Comments (1)

As a disaster volunteer for the ARC back when Elizabeth Dole headed the ARC I worked closely with the great volunteers from the Arkansas Baptist who had two stainless steel kitchens. I was the ARC volunteer that performed the daily inventory of the dry goods food in five semi-trailers and the additionql two refrigerated semi-trailers containing meats, etc. Over the past few decades I have been an extremely positive spokesman for you great people from Arkansas . I remember well you people inviting me to two of your evening meals. You cooked the food daily that the ARC took out into the community of Victoria, Texas. The disaster operations closed down on a Sunday so I was going to be flying back to Fort Wayne, Indiana, without the opportunity of attending church services. You people were also ready to leave. Your kitchens were cleaned up and ready to depart. I had the seven trailers ready for pickup by the ARC for a future disaster. And, one of your leaders announced for the Baptist to form for a departing prayer service. Being a Catholic convert I asked if I could attend your services and you gladly welcomed me. Prayers were given for those who we had served and a Prayer for all to return home safely. Those weeks at Victoria two retired Army Colonels headed your operations. Myself, I at one time had been a Midshipman at the Naval Academy after serving as a paratrooper in the Eleventh Airborne Division. In an extremely positive manner with nothing but praise for you people coming from my mouth I have mentioned your service on behalf of Christ many times to others when we discuss disasters occurring. A few years after the Victoria Relief Operations I came across some of you people at a disaster operation in North Carolina. I departed Annapolis due to academic failure. However, it was preceded by a grandmal seizure at the Academy. During the two years 1957-58 I had several grandmal seizures. Fortunately dilantin brought them to a complete halt. Back in 2004 my physician removed me successfully from the anti-seizure medication and I have had no problems since. I will be 80 years of age next month and in great health. After being rejected as a blood donor for years because of my past history of seizures I was finally accepted as a blood donor at age 57 in 1991. I am proud to be able to report that just last Friday I had my 401 st pheresis donation of platelets (in fact triple units as I am a high yield donor). In addition to these pheresis donations I have done whole blood donations on thirteen occasions. So I have gone in 23 years from not being accepted to being one of our nations biggest donors. Some parts of the world still will not accept anyone who has had epilepsy in the past. Thus I have purposely allowed this fact to be detailed out on the internet and reference to it has been made as far away as the United Kingdom. Sometimes God uses us in many strange ways if only we will allow him to do so. And, I am a witness to the fact that the Baptist from Arkansas certainly do just that!!! God Bless You Great People!!!

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRichard Beam

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