Congregation resumes Sunday service for first time since tornado

Nearly dozen members at Elon Baptist Church impacted by disaster

AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – For the first time since the tornado struck in Amherst County, members of Elon Baptist Church gathered for their service on Sunday.

Steve Tyree, who is the pastor of the church said many members have been directly affected by the tornado.

“At least ten people had lost either houses or possessions. We just want to come together as a church to love each other and support each other,” Tyree said.

This service was important for David Childress, a member of the church who lost his entire home during the tornado.
“We lost everything. Our house was brought down to just the foundation. We had a beautiful two-story home built in 2009. Within seconds, it was demolished with just the foundation,” Childress said.

His son, Bryson, who was in the house when the tornado struck, is recovering from several injuries.

​But ​he still managed to attend the service.

“It means a lot. It's a miracle of God to be alive,” Bryson said.

Nancy Everstreet, whose home was damaged by the tornado, was also glad to attend the service.

"It's great. I think it brought the community together,” Overstreet said.

For Tyree, this was an exciting but also a ​somber service.

“It's very difficult to describe what it's like. It's good to see our folks safe and it's good to be back with them."

But with the help and support of one another, this congregation is determined to rebuild.​

“My hope is to come back together, which I think we have already,” Tyree said.