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Church Provides Relief To A Town Struggling After Devastating Tornado

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A resurrection moment for Alberta Baptist Church.

A congregation celebrates its own house of worship three years after its destruction.

"I want you to know that God allowed our church to suffer so we could identify with others who were suffering,” declares Pastor, Larry Corder.

They suffered the effects of a series of powerful tornados that struck throughout the state of Alabama on April 27, 2011.

Lynn Allen recalls, “I had a home. At 5:15, you come out and it's gone."

Parishioners Lynn and Michael Allen lost their home but never lost their faith.

Allen continues, "It brings out the best in people, you know. Like I said, it wasn't neighbors. It was more like a family."

The storm severely damaged the buildings of Alberta Baptist but Pastor Larry Corder says the experience helped his congregation forge new relationships beyond the church walls.

"We had suffered great loss. But these people had lost their homes. They had lost everything in those homes,” says Corder.

On the walls of her new home, storm survivor, Dora Brunson, prominently displays photos of church members who helped her pick up the pieces.

"They put their troubles in the back and helped the community. Even though they had devastation to their building, their church, they got out there like soldiers and they helped everybody,” says Brunson.

The whole experience put things in perspective for parishioners, including John Matthews, who's attended Alberta Baptist since childhood.

"Well, the people are the church and this is the building. So, yes, it broke my heart that the building was down. But our people were all safe. And there's always hope when there's life,” reasons Matthews.

When the new sanctuary reopened in February, long-time church members joined hands with their new friends.

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