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Oklahoma Baptist relief efforts provide hope to storm victims

GORE—On Fri. Nov. 30, two tornadoes hit northeastern Oklahoma, causing damage to several communities. Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) immediately responded by setting up a command center at the associational camp grounds, Tenkiller Baptist Assembly.

According to Don Williams, Oklahoma Baptist DR state director, the first tornado touched down near the town of Gore and traveled for an estimated 50 miles, damaging Blackgum, First.

Joe Taylor, Tim Hare, pastor of Blackgum, First and Don Williams in front of the church, which lost its steeple, far left, in the tornado.

The second tornado touched down near Cookson, damaging many homes along Lake Tenkiller as well as the lake’s docks and marinas.
Williams said emergency managers estimated more than 150 structures sustained damage following the EF-1 and EF-2 tornadoes. “We will help with churches and staff, then church members, and, finally the communities,” Williams said.

Jim Bronk, pastor of Cookson, First told Williams about how the storm has impacted families in the community.
One family displays a large cross that lights up on their property. A neighbor down the road reached out to the family with the cross and said “I just want to let you know, in one of my darkest hours, our home got hit by the tornado last night. Tonight, we were able to see the cross, since the trees are now gone. My wife and kids are safe, thank God, and seeing that cross tonight assured me that everything is ok and God is great. What a miracle!”

Storm damage and debris.

Assessors, chaplains and chainsaw teams trained and equipped to do relief work are serving in the area.
“Oklahoma Baptists are responding to their fellow Oklahomans who have been impacted by this storm by offering hope, healing and help in their time of need.”
For the latest DR updates or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.okdisasterhelp.org.

Emily Howsden

Author: Emily Howsden

Emily Howsden is a staff writer for the Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Emily Howsden.

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