The following is adapted from the Prayers of the Presbytery announcement sent by the Rev. Susan McGhee on Sunday, April 2, 2023.
Another news article, Tornadoes damage PC(USA) churches and destroy homes in the presbyteries of Ohio Valley and Arkansas, was published by PCUSA on 4/4/2023.
In Sullivan, where the Rev. Dawn Black serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, one hundred fifty homes in town and another fifty in the county were destroyed as a (preliminary) EF-4 tornado swept through the area (the church building was not damaged). Peak winds were 155 miles per hour during the storm that traveled 8.94 miles. As of Sunday evening, there where three confirmed fatalities and at least 300 displaced residents.
In Martinsville, an EF0 tornado with wind gusts of up to 85 miles per hour traveled through the area. The Rev. John Erickson serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, which sustained considerable damage, ripping the steeple from the building and sending debris into the sanctuary.
The Rev. Susan McGhee, Executive Presbyter, has contacted Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), and a National Response Team is being deployed. She will meet with the leaders of that team Wednesday through Friday to tour the affected areas, offer support to pastors and people, and work on next steps.
Monetary support is always helpful at times like this, as it can quickly be sent to where it is most needed. Gifts can be made to the Presbytery of Ohio Valley marked “disaster assistance” and mailed to
Presbytery of Ohio Valley
P.O. Box 7003
Bloomington, IN 47407