As if reliving the first Pentecost in the book of Acts, where believers "were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound like a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting," (Acts 2:1-2 NIV) a small group of members at New Hope Baptist were holding a Bible study in the church when they heard the wind roaring.
Colleen Holbrook said the group hurried into the hallway, crouched against the walls and a few moments later, "the back of the building was gone, and it blew out half the windows in the sanctuary."
Mrs. Holbrook said she called her husband, Allen, who is the pastor of the church.
"I was at Wal-Mart, and when I got the call telling me what happened, I thought they were jerking my chain," Mr. Holbrook said Friday morning. "But when I got here, I saw it, and I'm really glad nobody was hurt."
The back of the building, where the kitchen is located, received extensive damage. Most of the windows were blown out of the rest of the building, resulting in broken glass debris and water damage.
Outside, the playground was destroyed, and the large trash dumpster was slammed into several cars in the parking lot. Generators were used to power the facility for services Sunday morning.
"The service Sunday was great. Oh my goodness, we had a wonderful service... the testimony time was a sweet time. It was a good time for our family to be together," Mrs. Holbrook said.
Because the church will be without electricity until the inspector approves it to be turned back on, Mrs. Holbrook said they will not be able to hold mid-week services. Mr. Holbrook said other churches have called and offered their facilities for hic church to use, but they have decided to continue holding services at New Hope on Sunday mornings only until further notice.