The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 10, 2013

Church, destroyed in 2011 tornado, holds first service in new building

JOPLIN, Mo. — For members of Generations Free Will Baptist Church, Sunday was a day of celebration and remembrance as the congregation held its first service in its new home. The previous church, at 2301 Connecticut Ave., was destroyed in the tornado on May 22, 2011.

After their original two-story church was leveled, church officials decided last year to rebuild at the same location. Some tornado-ravaged churches either opted to or had to rebuild elsewhere in the city, but for head pastor Jerald Bass, the decision to keep Generations at the same location was the one that made the most sense.

“There is some emotional stress tied to the fact that this was the only home that some of our people have ever known,” Bass said. “This is the same lot where we were before, and it’s familiar to a lot of people, but it is a brand-new building for us to worship in.”

Church members broke ground on the $1.45 million, 11,000-square-foot church last July, and Sunday marked their first service in their new home.

“This is a tremendous blessing for us,” said Beth Smith, one of the members. “It has been a long year and a half with a lot of prayer and hard work, but this has been worth it.”

Johniestet Hodges, chairman of the board of trustees for the church, said the new building serves as a reminder of the families who have built their lives around the church.

“We renamed ourselves Generations a few years back because we want families to be raised inside of the church and to know this as their home,” Hodges said. “We want our future to have a home in the past and families to continue to know a future here.”

Hodges said that while the construction was relatively quick, the congregation had help from churches across the country.

“We only came in at about 1 percent over budget,” he said. “We knew what we wanted to have done here, and we were also helped with donations from people that had heard our story. We had materials donated from other churches that had closed their doors, and part of their homes live here now.”

Bass said church officials are still working on some finishing touches.

“We haven’t put in our PA or our AV equipment, but that is coming soon,” he said. “We were just excited to get back in here and to celebrate.”

The church will hold an official opening celebration on Sunday, April 7.

Last place standing

Pastor Jerald Bass and about 20 members of Generations Free Will Baptist Church were in the church when the tornado hit, taking shelter in a classroom that survived. “We were blessed to have found the one place still left standing there,” Bass said. “God was looking out for us that day.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ruling modifies gas rates; MGE says bills to remain the about same

    An agreement to settle a Missouri Gas Energy rate change will modify the company’s various rates, but the net bill to consumers will remain largely the same, according to statements released Thursday by the gas company and the state’s utility regulatory agency.

    April 24, 2014

  • Railroad conducts training session; law enforcement officers work on crossing enforcement

    Joplin police and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers trained Thursday and will continue today on railroad crossing safety with Kansas City Southern Railway Co. The annual event, called “Officer on a Train,” puts law enforcement officers in the locomotive cab to give them a real-time view of how motorists and pedestrians approach train crossings through the city. The event began Thursday morning on tracks crossing Fourth Street near Murphy Boulevard.

    April 24, 2014

  • East Newton High student designated semifinalist in Presidential Scholars Program

    An East Newton High School student is among eight Missouri students who have been named semifinalists in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program for their outstanding academic achievement. George Bennion, a senior from Stark City, said he was “super excited” when he was notified of his selection as a semifinalist.

    April 24, 2014

  • 042314 Rec funding Build a Lion_72.jpg Missouri Southern students to vote on new fee, going smoke-free

    Students at Missouri Southern State University will vote next week on whether they support creating a fee that would fund athletic and recreation projects. During the annual student senate-sponsored spring election, students also will be asked whether they support a completely tobacco-free campus.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • New Kansas gun law draws support, some reservations

    At John’s Sports Center in Pittsburg on Thursday, firearms manager Adam Gariglietti said he supported Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to sign a bill that will ensure it is legal across the state to openly carry firearms. But, he offered some words of caution. “It’s great that he signed the bill,” Gariglietti said. “But at the same time, common sense goes a long way.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Baxter Springs chili feed to raise money for family of girl facing surgery

    On a Sunday morning in February, 9-year-old Izzy Morris woke up her mother complaining of a headache. Teresa Morris gave her daughter medicine. But an hour later, the headache had worsened. “She was in a lot of pain and started screaming and yelling uncontrollably,” Morris said.

    April 24, 2014

  • Carthage budget committee hears proposal for water, sewer rate increases

    The proposed budget for the Carthage Water & Electric Plant, including increases in water and wastewater rates, dominated discussions Thursday night as the Carthage Budget Ways and Means Committee continued its review of proposed city budgets for the fiscal year starting July 1.

    April 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Self-driving cars mean not having to teach teens to drive

    I may be wasting my time trying to teach my 16-year-old daughter, Emma, how to drive.
    According to The Washington Post, self-driving cars are on the way. What used to be a dream of bored engineers has now become something that certain car companies are taking seriously.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • World Tai Chi Day to be celebrated on Saturday

    At least two communities in the area will be celebrating World Tai Chi Day Saturday with outdoor events at area parks.

    April 24, 2014

  • Groundbreaking set for MSSU residence hall complex

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, April 28, for the new residence hall complex at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 24, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

What’s your favorite tree?

A. Maple
B. Oak
C. Dogwood
D. Redbud
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter