The Rev. Gregory Brown spent part of Sunday morning, April 15, checking on members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Woodward, Okla., after a deadly tornado outbreak in the Midwest that caused at least five reported fatalities in Woodward and damaged some LCMS member homes in that city.
“We were able to have services this morning, but most of the rural members west of town and in the areas affected did not attend,” Brown said in an email to the Rev. Glenn F. Merritt, director of LCMS Disaster Response.
Trinity is located in one of several LCMS districts hit by late-night storms that triggered preliminary reports of more than 120 twisters.
Just as Brown continued to try and reach Trinity Lutheran members, Merritt is contacting LCMS district leaders in Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. He also attempted to contact LCMS congregations in the vicinity of Thurman, Iowa, where officials reported that nearly 75 percent of that small town is destroyed.
In the Kansas District, the Rev. Rocky Mease, district disaster-response coordinator, reports no known damage to LCMS properties after a reported 97 tornadoes touched down, Merritt said.
Despite a massive hail storm in Norfolk, Nebraska District President Rev. Russell Sommerfeld reports no LCMS-related damage in that area, according to Merritt.
As the National Weather Service forecasts the development of more storms over parts of the upper Mississippi Valley, Merritt said the LCMS is standing by to offer assistance to districts and congregations in affected regions.
“Emergency responders are still searching the destroyed areas and assessing the situation,” Merritt said in an email. “We will be responding in an appropriate manner as we get reports from the districts.”
To support the Synod’s disaster-response program:
- make an online gift at http://lcms.org/disasterfund.
- mail checks (noting “General Disaster Response Fund” in the memo line) to The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861.
- call toll-free 888-930-4438.
Donations received for general disaster-relief efforts will be wisely used to support LCMS disaster-response and relief efforts where the greatest need is as determined by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Your gift is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.