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After a tornado, a church is almost finished with reconstruction



Trumann, Arkansas – After suffering severe damage, Trumann’s East Side Baptist Church is almost ready to reopen.

East Side Baptist Church was in the path of an EF-2 tornado that struck Trumann on December 10, 2021.

The church sustained damage from the tornado worth more than $400,000.

“The left side of the church hit it pretty hard and there was roof damage, but we also had more of the rain damage and the water after the tornado,” Deacon Kenny Gunter said.

There have also been issues with the reconstruction itself.

“We’re encountering some of the same things from before the tornado. With all the COVID and all the supply issue,” Gunter said.

Gunter stated that the church was required to make concessions because the rebuild was projected to last until May. In order to open the church sooner, according to Pastor Will Harold, the church had to push back some of the rebuilding tasks.

“Some things we are not able to do, some things we are doing. We’re sticking to things that are a priority because of that because finances are an issue,” Harrold said.

Churchgoers have convened at several venues during the process, but they have made an effort to remember their roots.

“We’ve held several events here on our grounds, drive-thru Easter baskets, given away during Easter time. We’ve done a fall festival here recently,” Harold said.

Pastor Harold is prepared to open the doors and welcome his people back as the reconstruction project draws to a close.

“The journey has been so long. To see the people come back home. To see the people in this community come back to this church, I wouldn’t be able to explain how that would feel,” he said.

The church intends to start receiving visitors as early as next month.

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