First Baptist Gilmer shows support for members impacted by last week’s storms

“It was very emotional, I think more emotional than I expected..”
The FBC Gilmer congregation coming back together for services after storms impacted their...
The FBC Gilmer congregation coming back together for services after storms impacted their community.(KLTV)
Published: Mar. 27, 2022 at 5:27 PM CDT

GILMER, Texas (KLTV) - It’s been almost one week since the tornadoes came through East Texas, impacting many families and communities. Churches across East Texas came back for worship and to show their support to those impacted today.

The community at First Baptist Gilmer continued their normal Sunday morning routine at church. Members greeted members, they caught up, and they worshiped. However, this Sunday was different. For Pastor Mike Kessler, it was an emotional day.

“It was very emotional - I think more emotional than I expected but it especially came from seeing Bob and Kay and hearing them tell,” he said. “They’re emotionally exhausted, but hearing them share their story and realizing the miracle that no one died. I mean there very well could’ve been someone that was killed.”

Members Bob and Kay Tidwell had the chance to share their story Sunday. They were hiding in a closet and gripping each other and the door as the storm blew every window out of the southside of their house.

“We just never have seen so much outpouring from the community, church, Texas Baptist Men,” Bob Tidwell said. “I mean that morning, they were there by 7 or 8 o’clock. There was one who even came after the storm was there around 12:20 a.m. bringing us a generator. We couldn’t even get out of the house.”

Both said today they saw and felt the love from their community while they were speaking.

“It makes you put things in the right perspective to know that things can be taken away from you, but love from God is there all the time,” Kay Tidwell said.

The clean up isn’t done for the Tidwells or many others in their area. Kessler said they are working with disaster relief teams to help those who need it.

“We still have each other, and we have God. God is the most important thing in all of it,” the Tidwells said.

Kessler said they plan to be out this week helping pack up items and get people’s property back in shape.

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