Joplin Church Emerges Stronger Than Last Year's Tornado

A year after a devastating tornado killed at least 161 people in Joplin, Mo., a church that was destroyed plans to show who God is by helping victims of recent tornadoes in Indiana.

The Rev. Aaron Brown of St. Paul's United Methodist Church announced Sunday that the church plans to not only lay the foundation of a new worship center, but the congregation will also send money and volunteers to help victims of tornados that struck southern Indiana in March, The Associated Press reported.

The church, which says its mission is to lead people to an active faith in Jesus Christ, wants to demonstrate that "life still wins."

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"God will use what we've been through to show the world who He is," Brown was quoted as saying.

Tornadoes caused widespread destruction in Marysville and Henryville, Ind., early March, and at least one town of about 1,900 people was "completely gone," according to a sheriff's office.

In Joplin, an EF-5 tornado that struck May 22 last year destroyed about one-fourth of the city, according to the American Red Cross. In total, nearly 7,000 houses were completely destroyed and over 850 others were damaged apart from 161 deaths. The storm also destroyed or damaged 27 churches.

Pastor John Myers of the Joplin Full Gospel Church, which too was destroyed a year ago, recalled that four members of the congregation died beneath the rubble. Another was blown out of her car and killed outside the church. Myers survived but lives with the cries for help he could do nothing about.

The church now has a new building. "You're glad to see a new building, you're glad to see things happening, and the people are happy," The Oklahoman quoted Myers as saying. "But still yet, in the back of your mind, you still remember it. It is still there yet, and it will be."

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