Today is a
somber day in Tuscaloosa, it's the 6-month anniversary of
the April 27th tornado that destroyed 9 miles of
Tuscaloosa killing over 60 people before it went on to
Birmingham and south Georgia. TV news trucks are
everywhere as we come back to our headquarters church-
First Presbyterian Church- this afternoon. At supper last
night, Dr. Durham, their senior pastor, told us that 50
families in his church lost their homes, only 3 of those
families so far have a home to return to. The last of 3
church members to die as a result of the tornado died
yesterday after being in the hospital for the 6 months.
University of Alabama students dug the elderly woman out
of the rubble of her home and carried her 10 blocks to the
hospital in a Lazy Boy recliner.
Such stories of heroic action are widespread in
this town. Everyone has a unique story to tell of how they
survived and how they came together to help one another.
This church of 1100 members
has 6 pastors and a multi-million dollar budget. The church
covers an entire city block. Across the street is the
4-story First United Methodist church, across from it is
First Baptist Church.
Today we have a visit from the executive
director of Tuscaloosa Habitat for Humanity who presents us
(SPUMC) with a beautiful framed certificate signed by
herself, Dr. Durham, and the mayor of Tuscaloosa.
On the job site, we finish installing
soffit, fascia, most of the metal roof, and much of the
siding. The weather forecast for tomorrow calls for a cold
rain so we will probably work on the front porch ceiling
and assist the elecricians inside. We meet the homeowner
of this home, Carmella Coach, for the first time.