"The Gospel Will Remain for Eternity": Cross Still Stands in Kentucky Church Damaged by Tornado

A beacon of hope in a desert of destruction.  

Pastor Wes Fowler and his family rode out the EF4 tornado that devastated Mayfield, Kentucky, in a tunnel beneath First Baptist Church.

Recalling the scene when they emerged, he told The Washington Post that downtown Mayfield looked like a "war zone."

First Baptist Church Mayfield Cross
Wes Fowler

Every part of the church sustained some level of damage, yet compared to the other downtown buildings, it was largely spared. Miraculously, through the blown-out windows of the Ministries Center across the street, the church's large, illuminated cross still stands—a beacon of hope in a desert of destruction.

"Most of the structures in Mayfield are damaged, and many have crumbled to the ground, but the Gospel will remain for eternity," pastor Wes wrote alongside a picture of the glowing cross on Twitter.

"It's amazing to me that in that Education Building across the street, that cross that we put in the windows is still there, and the window's gone," parishioner Barry Fowler told The Washington Post. "Everything else is gone. The cross still stands."

On Sunday, December 12, less than 48 hours after the tornado ripped through the community, First Baptist Church welcomed its parishioners for services.

"We're one of the few structures in downtown Mayfield to survive—it's difficult to explain—and very humbling—I pray we use our facility for the glory of God," Wes wrote on Facebook.

The massive storm system destroyed more than 1,000 properties in Kentucky when it moved through fives states on December 10. So far, 76 deaths have been reported in connection to the tornadoes, including 22 in Graves County alone.

Our hearts are with all those impacted by this terrible tragedy.

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