Home Christian News Mayfield Pastor and Wife Survive Tornado by Hiding in Church Closet

Mayfield Pastor and Wife Survive Tornado by Hiding in Church Closet

Joey Reed
Mayfield First United Methodist Church (via Facebook @MayfieldFirst)

Amid Tornado warnings, Pastor Joey Reed thought that the best place for him and his wife to hunker down would be in the building of their church. Little did the couple know that Mayfield First United Methodist Church in Kentucky would be directly in the historic storm’s path. 

Reed and his wife were the only two at the 100 year-old church, where they decided to wait out the storm on Friday. The couple rushed into the basement closet of the church when they realized the storm was directly overhead. 

“I realized it might be my last few moments of my life on this earth and I was very glad to be with my wife,” Reed told CBS News. “I know her prayer and mine was that we’d be spared. I was afraid for my children, what would happen to them and how they would respond to this.”

Reed was fearful that he would not survive to officiate his daughter’s wedding, which is set for March in Tennessee. Reed recounted that he was praying, “Please, Lord, let me make it so I can see my little girl married.” 

RELATED: ‘Our Building Is Not the Church. We Are’—The Faith Stories Coming Out of Friday’s Devastating Tornado Damage

Amazingly, neither Reed nor his wife were injured. The church building didn’t fare quite as well. What remained of the sanctuary was little more than a pile of rubble. 

“Thanks be to God that the part of the building that came down didn’t come down on us,” Reed said. 

Though the church was still standing when the storm passed, most of the roof had been blown off, along with some of the walls. As Reed answered a call from a concerned friend, he remarked that as he looked up, it took him a moment to realize he was looking at the sky. 

The church posted pictures of the building to its Facebook page, providing updates to the community and advising congregants to stay away from the building until it had been confirmed to be structurally sound. 

According to WLKY Louisville, First United Methodist Church was able to meet on Sunday in conjunction with another local congregation that welcomed in Reed and his congregants. On Monday, Reed and church members returned to the building to see what they could salvage. 

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dchamberlain@outreach.com'
Dale Chamberlain (M.Div) is the Content Manager for ChurchLeaders.com. He is also a blogger and podcaster who is passionate about helping people tackle ancient truths in everyday settings. He lives in Southern California with his wife Tamara and their two sons.