A tornado described by the National Weather Service as “large and dangerous” tracked across Selma, Ala., on January 12. The tornado was part of a larger outbreak across the South.
Steve Burton, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Selma, reported minor damage to the church property, but “complete devastation” in residential areas approximately 100 yards away. He added that several members of the congregation have lost their homes, though his house was not damaged.
In an email immediately after the storm to Ken Van Kampen, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Central South, Burton noted that a school with 360 students was near the church. At the time he sent the email, he was not able to access the area but said the school was “an utmost priority” for him and others and he would help in any way he could.
“Pray for the emergency workers in the immediate hours ahead and the clean-up work in the days to come,” Van Kampen said. “Pray that every parent in town will be reunited with their children this afternoon and that all displaced families will find their physical needs met today, as well as their spiritual and emotional needs in the future. Finally, pray for Cornerstone EPC and the churches in Selma as they minister in very practical ways in the name of our Lord.”
The EPC Domestic Emergency Relief Fund is accepting donations to assist in disaster areas with identified needs. To contribute, go to www.epc.org/emergencyrelief.