Caledonia MS Church of Christ Building Destroyed

 

A Church Building in Caledonia, MS … is it the Church of Christ? I do not know.

Picture Credit: HERE.

This past Thursday a line of tornadoes ripped across Central and North Central Mississippi. One tornado in particular tore through the little community of Caledonia. The building in which the church of Christ meets was destroyed, along with a fellowship hall and another facility on the property. Just 50 yards away during the storm, minister Shane Meredith huddled in fear along with his wife and infant daughter. Though the storm ended quickly, the devastation it left behind would set in motion a sudden relief effort that continues until today.

As the storm approached one lady drove underneath the canopy of the church building and attempted to enter the building for safety. Being unable to get in, she ran down the street to another structure. When she returned the building had collapsed and her car was crushed. It was God’s blessing that she could not take shelter in that building.

Shane says that this is just one of the many stories he is hearing in the wake of the storm. It is providential that there is a church building that is currently not being used just down the street. The Caledonia Church of Christ will meet in a borrowed facility. They have recieved permission to meet in it as long as needed. Even before the storm Shane’s selected topic for Sunday was Nehemiah’s rebuilding the walls. Yep.

In one of the more media-reported stories the storm picked up a school bus and dumped it on top of the school gym. School was in session with 1,800 students in the buildings, but none were in the gym at that time. And none were hurt. In fact, no one died in this storm that destroyed 15 homes and damaged many more. Some homes were destroyed while people were in them … yet there were no casualties.

When I talked to Shane today, I asked him about their personal losses. They did have roof damage, a limb through the roof, and some associated water damage. They still consider themselves extremely blessed in spite of this. Shane’s personal library was located in the church office. He did try to salvage what he could yesterday, but was unable to save most of it. Shane is a fellow graduate of Magnolia Bible College, although he attended after I graduated. Shane also once preached for the Hazelhurst, MS church. Forsythe Avenue Church of Christ in Monroe once helped support this small congregation.

Shane is working hard in trying to minister to people during this time of distress. In talking to him today I had some tears rolling down my face because I remember what that felt like. I remember receiving call  after call, not really knowing what to tell people … yet relieved to hear the voice of a friend. I am impressed with Shane’s faith and the way he continues to praise God for the blessings to be found in this tragedy. That there was no loss of life is in itself a miracle.

As a minister, I am conscious of the value of one’s personal library. I don’t know what we can do to help Shane. I thought about all of the preachers that read this column perhaps sending a volume or two in order to help him – but we all might send the same thing. And we won’t send our most prized books. If you’d like to help Shane rebuild his library, I think the best thing to do is to send him either a gift certificate or cash for this purpose. We can do this a lot of ways. I suggest you give Shane a call and talk to him…encourage him … pray with him. His phone number is 662-251-6017. If not, I’m open to your suggestions. Let me know what you think.

The church address was: Church of Christ at Caledonia, 818 Main St, Caledonia, MS 39740. I’m sure the post office will assist in getting mail where it needs to go.

Other Media I Could Locate This Evening:

 Local News: Commercial Dispatch report

Jackson MS’s Clarion Ledger Report.

Gulfport woman attempts to collect supplies to deliver to Caledonia.

Video report from WKRN in Nashville.

Jackson’s WLBT report on the Mississippi storms.

Fox News photos of Mississippi storm damage.

Salvation Army responds.

Brian Peters’ arial pictures and more.

James Spann posts a survivor’s account.

Disaster News Network report.

Thanks for reading, and please remember Shane and the Christians at Caledonia in your prayers.

John

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