Joplin Church Rebuilds

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JOPLIN - Sunday marks six weeks since a tornado flattened the city of Joplin. Luckily the tornado hit on a late Sunday afternoon. Luckily the high school graduation was at a college on the north side of town, and luckily church goers had come and gone from service.

Luck, or perhaps something else played a part for Saint Paul's United Methodist Church that afternoon.

"It was a Sunday evening, another part of the day that could have been terrible," said Mark Statler, Associate Pastor at Saint Paul's.

Nothing but a skeleton of a steel frame remains of Pastor Aaron Brown's church. However, a church is more than a building said Brown, "The building is just a building. It isn't the church. The church is it's mission and for us, our mission is to lead people into an act of faith in Jesus Christ."

The storm took down the walls, and literally opened up the church, more than ever to the community.

"It was sad to see the church, but the real heartbreak was across the street. The heartbreak was in all those home that were just piles of rubble," said Statler.

Statler said his church has been sending out teams of people to help the community with efforts to rebuild.

"Life is unpredictable, there is no such thing as normal. But these things happen, and when they happen we're not alone," said Statler.

And in a time when his parishoners and community need the church the most, the church is there for them.