An EF1 tornado touched down in Grove City, Ohio, this week, damaging about 450 homes and leaving hundreds without power. Grove City Church of the Nazarene was directly in the path of the tornado and received damage from flying debris.
About 100 people were inside the church at the time, including students who attend Grove City Christian School. No one was injured.
Homer McKnight, a church member and the building's architect, described the damage to WCMH-TV.
“It wasn’t destroyed,” he said. “It wasn’t structurally damaged. Everybody was safe. Nobody was hurt. I thought 'Wow! This building took a direct hit.' It was directly in the line of the tornado, 105 mph winds, and we got superficial damage and a little bit of roof damage and I thought 'I’m really proud of this building.'”
On Wednesday and Thursday, church members gathered to help clean up the community and deliver food to police and fire stations, city and power company employees, and local residents who were unable to leave their homes.
The church plans to bring in generators if necessary to hold services Saturday night and Sunday morning. The school will remain closed as the building is evaluated.