Walking By Faith: A Fayetteville Church Stands Strong Amid Destruction

FAYETTEVILLE, Tn. (WHNT) — Nearly a week after the devastating storms hit parts of the Tennessee Valley a Fayetteville church is standing strong, even though the church itself is not.

“The construction materials here are actually what the church used to be made out of,” Associate Pastor Josh Caldwell says, pointing to a pile of rubble about one hundred feet from the church’s foundation.

That rubble is what’s left of Grace Falls church. “You can see there, there’s the sinks and a toilet from one of our bathrooms,” Caldwell says pointing to a spot in the five plus foot tall pile.

He learned the church looked that way after the tornado hit by a text message.

“He sent a picture about eleven-thirty of just the foundation,” Caldwell says.

This last week has been difficult, trying to adjust. “All that debris out there, it does have a meaning for us,” Caldwell says, looking at the rubble.

All that’s left of the two-story church is the foundation.

Despite that, Sunday at ten o’clock the members of Grace Falls gathered there.

They grouped on the mere foundation of what used to be their church just as they always do, and held a Sunday service.

They did it without a roof over their heads, without their usual music.

“We teach our children that the church is a place where we meet, but the people of the church is what the church is comprised of and we’re showing that right now,” Caldwell says.

As they gathered on the foundation, twisted metal and debris littering the area around them, the lesson they’ve come to embrace is walk by faith, and not by sight.

“God has a plan for everything and God has a plan for this,” Caldwell says.

That’s the message they want to share.

“Our congregation is stronger now than we were before even though we’ve been dealt this tough hand,”  Caldwell says.

They don’t know where their next step will be.

What they do know though, is their faith is stronger than any tornado. “We’re going to be okay,” Caldwell says, “We’re going to be just fine.”



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