A year later: Salado church reflects on Easter services following devastating tornado

Last year, Victory Baptist Church was worshipping on a concrete slab. This year, the congregation is in a brand new building.
Church destroyed by EF3 tornado near Salado in April 2022 holds Easter Sunday service.
Church destroyed by EF3 tornado near Salado in April 2022 holds Easter Sunday service.(Rosemond Crown)
Published: Apr. 9, 2023 at 3:18 PM CDT
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SALADO, Texas (KWTX) - Just shy of a year ago, an EF-3 tornado ripped through Salado, destroying two churches, Victory Baptist Church and First Cedar Valley Baptist Church, in its path.

One year later, Easter Sunday looks a lot different for both of the congregations.

“I think the building says it all,” Billy Borho, the pastor of Victory Baptist Church, told KWTX as he pointed to a newly rebuilt church behind him. “Everything we had last year was borrowed or loaned to us, but this building is paid for. We don’t owe anything on this building.”

Last year, crowds of people from both Victory Baptist Church and First Cedar Valley Baptist Church sat in foldable chairs on cement slabs for their Easter services, surrounded by the rubble and destruction left behind from an EF-3 tornado.

Borho says he remembers feeling defeat in those early moments, but now another word comes to mind.

“As I look back, and I begin to see things begin to happen, that I never would have dreamed, then the only thing I can think of is victory,” Borho said.

This year, the congregation has more than just a cement slab to worship on. Members of Victory Baptist Church are gathering in a brand new sanctuary that took just five months to construct from the ground up, all thanks to help from builders and donors from across the country.

Borho says it’s nothing short of a miracle.

“I know God worked out all the details, all the difficulties, all the ups and downs, because he smiled on us,” Borho said.

Even with a new building, the memories of last year’s destruction remain.

“It was devastating and just something you’ll never forget,” Haley Brown, a granddaughter of Borho, said. “I grew up here, I’ve been coming here since I was born, I just turned 33. My whole life is here, this is my safe space. So for it to be gone was really, really terrible.”

But Borho says walls or no walls, the message of resurrection, in more ways than one over the last year, has only strengthened his faith.

“It has increased my faith,” Borho said. “Whatever God brings in my path, I’m ready.”