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Restoration Movement college spared by tornado that killed at least 117 in Joplin, Mo. (Updated Thursday)

Latest Joplin tornado coverage:
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– Joplin needs us,’ says plea from Oklahoma church

A massive tornado that killed at least 117 people in the southwestern Missouri city of Joplin spared Ozark Christian College, a Bible college associated with the instrumental Christian Churches and Churches of Christ.
Victor Knowles, founder and president of Joplin-based Peace on Earth Ministries, said the storm devastated the south side of Joplin.
“Ozark Christian College is in north Joplin, where a lot of the ministries are located, and all are OK,” Knowles told The Christian Chronicle.
Restoration Movement churches have a sizable presence in the city of 50,000 people about 160 miles south of Kansas City. It’s the home of 16 instrumental Christian Churches and eight a cappella Churches of Christ, according to Knowles. Thirty parachurch ministries associated with the instrumental branch of the fellowship are located in Joplin, and Knowles said he planned to check on all of them today.
Kim Spink is the wife of Greg Spink, minister of the a cappella Mt. Hope Church of Christ in Webb City, Mo., north of Joplin. She “was trapped in the rubble of Wal-Mart and saw several dead,” Knowles said.
Please check back for updates. We’ll post more news as it becomes available. If you have information, please leave a comment.

  • Feedback
    I went to OCC (then OBC) in the 70s. I thank God that the college was not hit. I continue to pray for everyone in Joplin.
    Bernie Beckel
    Bernie Beckel
    May, 23 2011

    My heart was in my throat upon hearing of the destruction of Joplin. In 1969 I attended Ozark Bible College and I just found out that most of the destruction occurred in South Joplin. I lived right off Rangeline my first year of marriage and started my career as a nurse at St. John’s Medical Center. My hopes and prayers are with all those affected by this massive destruction.
    May, 23 2011

    Praying for all the familes of Joplin Missouri
    my friend Rita Hayes who attended Ozark in 1964 lives in Joplin
    do you know if the area of 1919 East 28th street is OK
    Thanks for any information you can provide!
    Barbara Wilken
    May, 23 2011

    Our prayers go out to yet another city hit with this type of devastation. Our son, Jared White, is there in Joplin with AmeriCorps helping clean up the debris from the storms. May God comfort all those who lost loved ones.
    Lowell White
    May, 23 2011

    Awesome. Praise God for that. May He comfort those that lost loved ones.
    Kevin S
    May, 23 2011

    I attened Ozark Christian College in the early 80’s, my first year it was Ozark Bible College and my second it had merged and become OCC. My first thoughts were for Ozark and then the many friends I have who still live in the area. I was so happy to find this article. Thank you for the information on the college. Now I can pray more specifically for my friends and the area. I know the college will be involved in helping the area with the destruction. Were the students still at the college?
    I believe they would have left for the summer but am not sure.
    Shannon Gallagher
    May, 23 2011

    My prayers go out for these people who have suffered such shocking and sudden devastation.
    James Haney
    May, 23 2011

    Thanks for mentioning Ozark Christian College. Many of us have wondered if they were hit by the storm. Hopefully all associated with the school are well.
    May, 23 2011

    Glad to hear Ozark campus was spared. Over the years, many people from Ozark has crossed our paths at South Louisville Christian Church. We will be offering up our prayers for those in your area affected by this disaster. May God comfort all!
    Mark Roth
    May, 23 2011

    Thank you for this news. I was searching for information about Ozark Bible College and located the article. I’m so thankful that the school was not struck by the terrible tornado that hit Joplin last evening. I live in northwest Arkansas and have visited the campus of OBC (now Ozark Christian College). Our family is affiliated with the Christian Church community of believers.
    May God undergird the Joplin community with His powerful hands and send the help needed as first responders locate any who may be trapped and others who are trying to recover after the devastating storm. The city and its people are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Suzan Holt
    May, 23 2011

    I too attended Ozark Christian College from 87-89 and my immediate thoughts were focused on whether or not this wonderful college/ministry had survived the destruction of this powerful storm. Praise be to Heavenly Father that it not only survived but is able to provide shelter and comfort to the many who will need it… My heart and so many prayers are going out to ALL of the residents and friends affected.
    May, 23 2011

    It was a relief to read a comment by Victor Knowles thereby knowing he and his wife were okay. Thanks
    Jim Brooks
    May, 23 2011

    We are trying to find out if Meredith Williams and his wife are safe, he works at Ozark Christain College. Please if you have any information please let us know.
    Mark & Yvonne Busbee
    May, 23 2011

    Pres Proctor on Facebook indicated all Staff of Ozark Christian College are safe. Some have lost homes but physically all are well.
    Meredith Williams was chatting on facebook.
    Shannon Gallagher
    May, 23 2011

    Mark & Yvonne Busbee; Meredith and Heather say hello and thank you for thinking of them.
    Shannon Gallagher
    May, 23 2011

    Barbara Wilken- just found out Rita Hayes and her son David have been located, miraculously their house is still there and they were inside safe and sound!
    Julie Taylor
    May, 23 2011

    Julie thank you so much – I have been praying for that good news but I am also praying for all those that lost lives, property and for all those helping in Joplin. Barbara
    Barbara Wilken
    May, 23 2011

    I attended Ozark Christian College in early 90’s. The college campus has grown over the years and with it the desire to minister to the community and surrounding area. This devastation will really test some of the students and faculty, but I know that the Lord had His hand on the campus over the weekend. OCC staff and students will be a beacon of light and hope to the people of Joplin,MO. in the coming months and year as the city begins the clean-up and re-building of many areas hard hit by the tornado. My prayers go out to those who have lost loved ones and to the city of Joplin.
    Randy Griggs
    May, 23 2011

    The official death toll is up to 116.
    Bobby Ross Jr.
    May, 23 2011

    I praise God for this precious blessing! I’m thankful that Ozark B C was spared. I pray for those wounded and homeless. Wish there was something I could do beyond the prayers.
    David Lucas
    May, 23 2011

    God moves in a mysterious way
    His wonders to perform;
    He plants his footsteps in the sea,
    And rides upon the storm.
    McKenzie L.
    May, 23 2011

    I attended Ozark from 1993-1995. This was one of the most treasured and meaningful times of my life. I was in shock when I heard the news this morning, and my prayers immediately went out to the people there at the college and the school itself. Now that I have learned the college was spared I feel a great sense of relief but will turn my prayers to the many in the city that were not as fortunate. My hope is that the college and the area churches are able to rise to answer the call as a source of strength and support to the community during what may be the greatest opportunity many of us will ever see to be Jesus to those who are in need.
    Ben Lorenz
    May, 23 2011

    I was relieved to discover that one of my highschool best friend and her family, who live in and within a quarter mile of Joplin are safe–only broken windows in one house. We’ve had tornado sirens here today too, in northern Arkansas, but no real damage reported, except some limbs down. Along with others, have been praying for the families and friends who’ve lost loved ones, homes and businesses in Joplin. I’m thankful to hear that the Mountain Home Church of Christ (of which I’m a member) and the former Memorial Christian Church are sending relief items tomorrow and Thursday, along with others. It seems that disasters bring out the best in us.
    Larry, thanks for giving us food for thought in the song you posted. You brought out the spiritual aspect.
    Jo Byrd Huddleston
    May, 23 2011

    James Hajney. Your Boston friends are thinking of you.
    May, 23 2011

    Thanks for reporting on this ‘sister’ college. John 17
    Carol C
    May, 23 2011

    I see the one that says all staff from the college is safe, my Dad is friends with Dr. Larry Pechawer and has been wanting to check to see if he was is safe. Thanks!
    aaron barrett
    May, 23 2011

    Thanks to everyone for their prayers. The Mt. Hope Church of Christ in Webb City is one of many churches coordinating efforts in both housing and supplies. The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Team restocked after being in Alabama and arrived in Joplin tonight (23rd) with a semi truck full of supplies. Simply amazing! (www.churchesofchristdrt.org)
    Please keep our community in your prayers as we continue to search for survivors. The images on TV and the internet, while frightening, just cannot convey the absolute devastation this town has suffered.
    May His glory be known!
    David Scott
    May, 24 2011

    We Praise God for his protection. Our prayers are for the people of Joplin especially those of the faith. Our hope is that none of our brothers and sisters has lost of life.
    Wayne & Marlene Duhon
    May, 24 2011

    Very relieved and pleased to hear OCC not damaged. Close family friends who live in Joplin were effected severely. Several of our ministers at our home church attended there. Your brothers & sisters in Christ from Texas are praying for all of you in Joplin and the surrounding areas.
    Lorna Maxwell
    May, 24 2011

    I have family in Joplin and I can’t reach them, can anyone tell me how I go about finding out if they are alive? Is there a website or something, I just need to know.
    May, 24 2011

    Carrie, please call the church tomorrow at your earliest convenience. We’ll do our best to help.
    Mt. Hope Church of Christ
    Webb City, MO
    David Scott
    May, 24 2011

    Check the Safe and Well web site – use KOLR-10 news Springfield
    I posted the name of my friend and her address and someone must have went and checked because Julie Taylor reported she was ok
    Barbara Wilken
    May, 25 2011

    I am wondering if the tornado struck Mylinda Leah Lane
    A fellow high school classmate Jerry Calvin who is retired Parks and Recreation director lives in Joplin and several friends are asking if he is okay – 2424 Mylinda Lane.
    Barbara Wilken
    May, 25 2011

    I attended OBC back in 1975, newly arrived from overseas, no family or friends anywhere close by. I am very grateful for the caring and friendship I received there at OBC from so many of the faculty, staff and students. I thank the Lord for you all. I will be praying for Joplin, the OCC family, and the churches in the area.
    Karen Young
    May, 27 2011

    We have heard that Jerry is ok – Prayers still going, for the people in Joplin
    Barbara Wilken
    May, 29 2011

    This was really a bad event. I hope nothing like this will ever happen again in the future. If only there are ways to stop horrible things from happening… Stay safe everyone.
    June, 6 2013

Filed under: Breaking News News Extras

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