TRENTON, Mo. – Parts of a historic church collapsed in northwest Missouri following a weekend of severe weather, including three tornadoes in that area.
Now those same areas are bracing for more wind and rain in the forecast this week.
Two of the worst hit spots over the weekend included Linn and Grundy counties. On Saturday afternoon, the wind moved into the city of Trenton quickly. But in town, nothing else was damaged as badly as Wesley United Methodist Church.
“Everybody’s been up here, looked at the damage. All of the other churches in town, more or less, have expressed their condolences,” Pastor Steve Martin said.
“That’s the original roof, original construction,” said Martin, looking at the damage spilling into the alley.
It’s work that goes back 130 years — damaged by an EF-0 tornado Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.
Martin shared photos from the inside of the church where the walls caved in. Gaping holes are now covered by tarp.
“This whole peak section fell out because the tornado probably pulled everything loose and it just dropped out in the alley,” Martin said.
Miraculously, he church’s stained glass windows remain largely in tact.
“We were really surprised that it didn’t seem to affect the windows. They were built quite well evidently,” Martin said.
No one was inside during the storm that continued eastward. One viewer photo showed baseball-sized hail causing damage in Glenwood, Missouri.
At the church, the plan is to hold services in their fellowship hall. It’s an adjustment, keeping the pastor looking forward.
“Well, I think Churchill said, ‘Every adversity is an opportunity,'” Martin said.
“So there are going to be things that come out of this that will give us the opportunity to talk to people we wouldn’t talk to otherwise, to connect with people we wouldn’t connect to otherwise. So that’s how I view it.”
Church leadership said they hope insurance will cover all the damage.
“The only people who call it an ‘act of God’ are the insurance companies, so,” Martin said.
However, the church has already received donations from people wanting to help with the rebuild and incidentals.