Church members survive twister: 'We were blessed last night'

EMORY, Texas (KETK) - In Emory, the community is recovering from a terrifying tornado which rolled through the area, twisting the landscape and destroying a local church.

Church members wouldn't be kept away from the now-rubble they consider their spiritual home. Members of St. John The Evangelist Church did something they thought they would never have to do--- gathered for service outside.

"I didn't think there was any way that they were going to hold mass today," 10-year church member Sherry Madalich said.

Madalich is one of the 45 members who were attending a dinner for graduating seniors when a tornado came spiraling down over the church around 7 p.m. on Saturday night.

"Our small world has changed...the people are still the same, the building is not," Madalich said.

She said she received a call warning her and everyone at the church to take cover. They were able to find a safe place with about five minutes to spare. By the time the twister had passed over, a missing wall allowed a glimpse into the destruction outside.

The sanctuary's roof was blown away and a only wall remained.

Despite the hardships, the church says their faith keeps them moving forward.

"We were blessed last night, we were being watched over," Madalich said.

Church member were able to walk away without a scratch.

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