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DISASTER RELIEF: Baptist church that aided tornado victims damaged in Claremore

First Baptist Church Claremore
Posted at 8:04 PM, May 28, 2024

CLAREMORE, Okla. — For weeks, the Southern Baptist Church has been on the ground at Oklahoma tornado sites. Now, one of their communities needs help.

"I just wish our church didn’t get destroyed," said Bella Philips one of the church's youth group members.

Some of the first images 2 News captured of the Claremore damage was on May 26 at the First Baptist Church.

"We’re cleaning up trash at the church," said Philips.

The church community volunteered to pick up debris in and outside of the building.

There were volunteers representing every age group. Many of them noted what they picked up.

There was even something special amidst the rubble.

"That’s a piece of a bible," said Philips.

The debris didn’t stop at the main church. Just a block down the street is the church's student center.

At the north campus, the student leader, Scott Newton, said they will have to get creative this summer.

"Kind of think outside the box and still have fellowship around whether it’s at different people’s homes or maybe here on campus, and you know, still going to do our summer camps and mission trips that we had planned," said Newton.
He said disaster relief staff helped with tornado damage in other communities. But now they're turning focus to their own.

"First Baptist, we have some great people here, and they just have great hearts and just very much servant hearts," Newton said.

Newton said it may take months to get back up and running.

"Even though the inside of our church is really damaged and we are going to be out of it for a while, we are still going to meet, and you know God is in control," said Newton.

The youth group left with this message.

"We love our church. We love you," Philips said.

They clearly love their church community. The church plans to provide updates on its damage cleanup and services on its Facebook page, Claremore First.

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