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Mayfield, Ky., photo via Baptist Press

Devastation in Kentucky: Killer storms topple church members’ houses, businesses


As a deadly tornado tore through the heart of Mayfield, Ky., Friday night, members of the Northside Church of Christ took shelter in the church’s building.

About 20 people, including church members and neighbors, waited out the storm in the basement, associate minister Tyler Wunderlich told The Christian Chronicle. A few dared to look outside — and were able to trace the path of the tornado by following the bright power flashes as transformers exploded across town.


Update: ‘Bent but not Broken’


The building is undamaged but is without power and water, Wunderlich said. So far there are no known casualties among the church’s members.

Two miles southwest of the church building, the storm toppled a candle factory, Mayfield Consumer Products, where 110 workers were filling orders in the midst of the Christmas rush. One church member was in the candle factory, Wunderlich said, but was able to leave unharmed.

At least 50 people are feared dead, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said, after a devastating night of storms that stretched from Arkansas to Illinois.

Tyler Alverson

Tyler Alverson

Members of the Seven Oaks Church of Christ in Mayfield have lost homes and businesses, minister Tyler Alverson told The Christian Chronicle. The church’s building, in southeastern Mayfield, is undamaged but without power.

“We have some people who are bringing pre-made casseroles to the church,” Alverson said. “We’re unloading some generators so we can have power.”

Church leaders are in touch with Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort. The Nashville-based ministry is sending trucks of relief supplies that should arrive Saturday evening, Alverson said.

The minister said he will speak with the church’s elders soon to confirm, but the church likely will have a worship service on Sunday.

“I think that’s what we need most right now,” he said.

Tyler Wunderlich

Tyler Wunderlich

The Northside church also plans to have Sunday worship, although church leaders are moving the meeting time to 3 p.m. to allow members to use the morning daylight to begin the long recovery process.

The church also plans to use its facility as a staging point for relief. Ohio-based Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team is en route to help those impacted by the storm.

Tornado warnings were issued in West Tennessee. Freed-Hardeman University shared this post from Jennifer Vega of the Henderson Church of Christ.

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, a member of the University Heights Church of Christ in Bowling Green, Ky., posted the following message:

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. If you are in an area affected by the storm and can share information or photos, please contact Erik Tryggestad at [email protected].

"There are no words for this radar data," said Andrew Leeper, worship minister for the Brentwood Hills Church of Christ in Nashville, Tenn., and severe weather tracker. "Mayfield, Ky., appears to have taken a direct hit in the center of the city from a strong, destructive tornado that is lofting debris to around 25,000 feet in the air, according to radar. Mayfield will need help."

“There are no words for this radar data,” said Andrew Leeper, worship minister for the Brentwood Hills Church of Christ in Nashville, Tenn., and severe weather tracker. “Mayfield, Ky., appears to have taken a direct hit in the center of the city from a strong, destructive tornado that is lofting debris to around 25,000 feet in the air, according to radar. Mayfield will need help.”

Mayfield, KY, USA

Filed under: Churches of Christ Disaster Relief deadly tornado disaster assistance Kentucky National News Top Stories

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