Franklin churches damaged by tornado share hope on Good Friday

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FRANKLIN, Tex. (KBTX) - Residents in Franklin are counting their blessings after a powerful tornado tore through their town.

Churches are cleaning up and some starting over after Saturday's powerful tornado came straight through the city. Some houses of worship were destroyed and damaged.

"I came in to check and looked at the damage and my heart, I was so sad. I really was because I didn't think it would be that bad, but it was. It was horrific," said Roosevelt Richard, the Pastor at Secret Place Family Worship Center.

"We've almost been here for two years in the blue building. We put a lot of work in it and a lot of sweat," he said.

What's left of the building was being torn down in just a matter of minutes Friday. The church is planning to rebuild. In the meantime, another local church is offering them a place to worship.

"We're going to split services with other churches to makes sure that they have places to go and worship or a place here to come and worship and that's our way of giving back to the community," said Pastor Tommy Moton with South New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

His church is still assessing roof damage from the storm but he has hope.

"We have a hope in Jesus Christ. We will rebuild, okay? So, Good Friday to us is going to be a time where we can come together remember what Christ has done and as dark as it is this Friday, Sunday's coming," he said. "90 percent of my congregation is affected by this storm and when you look at it and you think about these people are being displaced," said Moton.

"I walk down the streets and I see their lives are torn, more so than shingles and mortar and brick, I see the life, the hurt, the pain, the heart of the people and that’s what we want to rebuild," he said.

As their church coordinates a supply drive, area residents like Toni Baxter and her granddaughters stopped by to support.

"We like to cook together so I thought we would just bake cookies and bring them maybe for the Easter egg hunt," said Baxter, a Bremond resident who was born in Franklin and has a family business there.

"Want to say to the community and everyone thank you for your support, your time and your effort, and also please don't forget us as we try to rebuild," said Richard.

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Franklin is hosting a Good Friday service Friday at 6:00 p.m. If you'd like to help the Secret Place Family Worship Center we have more details in the related links section.

The South New Hope Missionary Baptist Church's donation center is operating from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. For after hour donations you can contact Regina at (979) 828-4378. Their church is located at: 611 Calvert Street, Franklin, TX 77856.