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Preacher’s wife missing for three hours after massive Joplin, Mo., tornado

Kim Spink’s SUV landed two rows from where she parked it at a Walmart in Joplin, Mo. “That’s me looking to see if she’s in it,” said her husband, Greg Spink, minister of the Mt. Hope Church of Christ. “My youngest daughter is crying behind me.” (Photo by Courtney Spink)

For three hours after a massive tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., on Sunday, Kim Spink was missing.
Spink, wife of Greg Spink, minister of the Mt. Hope Church of Christ in Webb City, north of Joplin, had gone shopping at a Walmart.
Her husband and three children — Courtney, 17; Stacy, 15; and Austin, 10 — waited out the storm in their basement at home.
At the Walmart, one wall was left standing, Greg Spink said.
“She was behind it,” he said of his wife. “God blessed her and took care of her. She’s one of the few that walked out. She stepped over bodies on her way out.”
The minister and his children trudged through debris and glass as they searched for her.
Eventually, they found her — walking toward their home, unsure if it or her family had survived.
“We had a reunion in the middle of the street,” Greg Spink said.
The Associated Press reports that the Walmart, a Home Depot and apartment complex are the focus of rescuers in Joplin.
At least one Church of Christ building in Joplin was struck by the tornado. The 26th and Connecticut Church of Christ reports on its website that its building was “heavily damaged … and it is unusable at this time.” A note on the website says:

To our wonderful Christian family who has sent us emails and called with offers to help: We have received your emails and calls. We will get with you as quickly as we can. We are overwhelmed with the love that you are giving our congregation. We will get with you as soon as we know what our needs are. Please continue to pray for our congregation.

The Mt. Hope church building did not sustain damages in the tornado and has become a hub of relief efforts by individuals, Churches of Christ and relief organizations. Nashville, Tenn.-based Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort already has sent semi-truckloads full of food and supplies for victims.
People wanting to help can send donations to the Mt. Hope church at 2830 Mt. Hope Road, Webb City, MO 64870. The church phone number is (417) 624-1795, but reception is spotty at this point, Greg Spink said.
See our earlier post on the tornado sparing a Restoration Movement college.

  • Feedback
    Greg’s last name is SPINK no S at the end.
    He is one of my best friends and former college roommate at OC.
    What a miracle Kim waas not killed. Keep them all in your prayers.
    Jim Wille
    Jim Wille
    May, 24 2011

    Thanks for the correction, Jim! I have fixed the mistake.
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    May, 24 2011

    This zip code for the Mt. Hope church is incorrect…..
    the zip is 64870
    May, 24 2011

    OK, thanks for letting us know, Clint. I have fixed that, too. We’re going to press with our monthly print edition at 5 p.m. today, and apparently, I can’t do two things at once. 🙂
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    May, 24 2011

    What a story – of looking for home and finding it. We should search for souls like Greg searched for his wife. My prayers are with Greg and his family, also with the church in Joplin.
    Barry Chaffin
    May, 24 2011

    What a horrible disaster! May the great Comforter remain with those in so much pain. The stories of people being found safe are great blessings to hear.
    Jo Ann Dove
    May, 24 2011

    I am so sorry. Prayers are being said for everyone.
    Barbara Barden
    May, 24 2011

    Praise God she was safe. Praying they find others safe too.
    Gloria Jane Clark Beall
    May, 24 2011

    So thankful your wife was found and safe.We will be coming to the church there on June 1st with some things and if anything is needed from us, please feel free to ask.
    May, 24 2011

    The Churches of Christ Disaster Response Team, based out of Melbourne, FL. is working with the Mt Hope Church of Christ in coordinating the relief effort. All volunteers need to register online at the DRT website www.churchesofchristdrt.org. Upon registering you will receive a reply email with specifics. DRT always provides housing, 3 daily meals, all tools you will need and the work will be ready and waiting for you. 🙂 When working at this particular disaster, housing will be at the Mt Hope Church of Christ building. Any questions please call or email Laura at [email protected] or 937-308-2259.
    Laura Cremeans
    May, 25 2011

    This is a terrible thing thats happening all around us. I live in Marshall so its really hard to sit back and watch all the happenings. God Bless. My family will also be going to help with the wreckage.
    May, 25 2011

    Greg and Kim Spink are warriers for the Kingdom of God! Praise God for all of their selfless efforts to serve Him throughout their decades of ministry. What a beautiful family! “For the Angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and He rescues them.” Psalm 34:7
    Brad Pistole
    May, 25 2011

    Praising God for Kim’s survival. What a blessing God has given this family! We will be praying for all of you. Your friends in Donalsonville, Georgia!!!
    May, 25 2011

    I continue to be amazed at the needs expressed by the survivors of this tragedy. Today I received a call saying the Christians there just needed someone to do their laundry. They are busy picking through the wreckage and don’t have time to wash the little they are able to rescue and as time goes on what they have rescued will begin to mold and mildew. They also have expressed the need for babysitting so the little ones remain safe while the parents continue to search. These are such little things to most of us but such huge things in the lives of those impacted by this disaster. Many of us think we are not strong enough to clear debris or have no particular skill to help, but there are jobs for all of us in the kingdom of God, even jobs we might see as little.
    May, 26 2011

    One comment made earlier said that “if we would only search for the lost the way Greg looked for Kim…” That is exactly the way Greg ministers. He seeks out those who are lost. He ministers in ways most people would never think of. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty to minister to others. I have seen this couple and their precious children in action many times, and I am proud to say that they are dear friends to me and my family!! God saved Kim that day because she called on the name of the Lord. She said it on her Facebook status…”I prayed out loud the whole time!” I thank God for bringing Kim out of the storm.
    May, 26 2011

    My prayers of thankfulness go up for Kim and Greg. Greg and Jim ate alot of hot dogs at our house when they were OC students. Grateful for their safety.
    Paulette Shreck
    Paulette Shreck
    May, 26 2011

    We’re so grateful the Lord saved Kim from the tornado! That reunion with her family must have been wonderful! I can just hear her praying aloud in that WalMart! AND the Lord heard her! Scott and I watched Kim grow up as one of our Joy Bus riders and then an active teen in the youth group at Southside in Rogers, AR. She’s a joy, and we rejoice with her and her family! Praise God!
    Rebecca Heffner Hedges
    May, 26 2011

    When I saw this picture, I was so scared and worried that something terrible had happened to Kim. But, I’m so so thankful to God that she is OK and still with her family where she belongs. After readig this, I am so glad that God heard her cries for help and blessed her that day.
    God Bless you. I will keep you and everyone else affected by this harrible disaster in my prayers.
    May, 26 2011

    Praise God for His protection – our prayers are with the Spink family and our fellow Christians there (Isa.41:10).
    From your family at the Eastridge Church of Christ in Mitchell;s Plain, Cape Town, South Africa.
    Minister: Mervyn Pasqualle
    Mervyn Pasqualle
    May, 27 2011

    I thank God for His grace and mercy. May Our loving and caring Father grant strength and peace and comfort to affected. We are with you our prayers.
    Ephraim Gondwe
    May, 29 2011

    Hi, I am Dan McCubbins from Oregon. I heard a story today on KLOVE about a youth pastor in Joplin that lost his house, but his family was saved by hidding in a closet, which was all that was left after the tornado went through. Our Church has a responce team that could rebuild that home. Is there anyone that can get me in touch with that family or their church? my email is [email protected]. thanks for you help, Dan McCubbins
    June, 2 2011

    Our God is an awesome God He reigned, is reigning and will reign. Praise His worthy name. Amen. Lord of all comfort continue to comfort us.
    Church of Christ,
    Benue State,
    West Africa.
    Akerigba Jacob
    June, 3 2011

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