Selma church optimistic to rebuild after devastating tornado

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 7:54 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Crosspoint Christian Church off Dallas Avenue in Selma is trying to regain some sense of normalcy after a tornado devastated their property.

It’s been nearly three weeks since an EF-2 tornado tore through the city of Selma, and the church was a direct hit. The church’s preschool and childcare center collapsed during the storm. About 13 teachers and 70 children were inside. They all survived.

“There’s no reason that building back there should be standing other than God wanted it to stand,” said Senior Pastor David Nichols.

Pastor Nichols said it’s been an “emotional roller coaster the last three weeks,” but that despite the disaster, it’s brought everyone closer together. He said there had been nearly 200 volunteers on their property helping clean up.

“Everything that’s been done on this property, with the exception of the roof being covered, was done by volunteers,” Nichols said.

The church was even able to get the roof of their sanctuary rebuilt and have been holding services inside the last several weeks.

“We did one service out in the parking lot right after the storm, and we’ve been back in here ever since,” he said.

Crosspoint Christian Church holds its first Sunday service since the church suffered direct...
Crosspoint Christian Church holds its first Sunday service since the church suffered direct hits to multiple buildings from Thursday's tornados, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023, in Selma, Ala.(Vasha Hunt | Source: AP/ Vasha Hunt)

Their preschool is also back open at a temporary location. Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Selma has offered its education building for students and staff.

“So we was actually only shut down for one week,” he said.

Despite the setbacks, Nichols said they handed out nearly one thousand meals to families the Saturday after the storm and are still making donations to those in need.

“Even with everything that was going on with us, you know we was working here, but we was also giving back to the community,” he said.

When the storm hit, Pastor Nichols’ wife and his three grandchildren were inside the building.

He says they plan to tear down the preschool and childcare center and rebuild a new one sometime within the next couple of years.

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