Adventists Affected by the Storms

3 Members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Killed
Storms Destroy Members’ Homes and Church, Many More Damaged

April 29, 2011

The storm that ripped through the southern United States on Wednesday, April 27, has reportedly killed over 335 people in six states, and damaged many more houses and businesses.

Two members of the Ownbey Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church in North East Alabama and one member of the Apison Seventh-day Adventist Church in Southeastern Tennessee are sadly included in those who lost their lives during this devastating storm.. The victims were members of the Gulf States and Georgia-Cumberland Conferences respectively. The church family is saddened by this news and the loss of these members.

Throughout the Southern Union, other members have lost family and friends, and many members’ homes have been destroyed or damaged.


Currently, these including the following:

Most Recent:

  • In north-east Alabama, several members of the Florel Crest and Ownbey Chapel Seventh-day Adventist churches sustained damage to their houses
  • In Birmingham, Alabama, 2 families of the Hillsview Seventh-day Adventist Church lost their homes
  • In Tanner, Alabama, west of Huntsville, a family’s farm received extensive damage, destroying 3 homes belong to church members. 2 homes belonged to members of the Madison Mission Seventh-day Adventist Church, 1 home belonged to members of the Trinity Seventh-day Adventist Church in Athens, Alabama

Previously Reported:

  • In Piedmont, Alabama, the Piedmont Seventh-day Adventist Church was destroyed

Piedmont Seventh-day Adventist Church prior to the storm

Piedmont Seventh-day Adventist Church after the tornados

Piedmont Seventh-day Adventist Church after the tornados
  • In Pleasant Grove, Alabama, 2 members of the North Highlands Seventh-day Adventist Church lost their homes. Another family had damage to their home. There are no reports of injuries.
  • In Harvest, Alabama, the Harvest Seventh-day Adventist Church Sabbath School house received some damage, however all members’ homes and the church are ok
  • In Huntsville, Alabama, the Anderson Hills neighborhood, where Oakwood University President Dr. Leslie Pollard and several other members live, received extensive damage, including to Dr. Pollard’s residence
  • In Huntsville, Alabama, the Oakwood University Seventh-day Adventist Church did not suffer damages, but several members lost their homes
  • In Huntsville, Alabama, a small tornado touched down a few hundred yards from the home of Pastor Chris Barr’s house, but minimal damage was caused to the home. Chris Barr is the pastor of the Huntsville Central Seventh-day Adventist Church
  • In Huntsville, Alabama, 3 homes belonging to members of the First Seventh-day Adventist Church homes were destroyed, at least 7 more sustained severe damage
  • In Huntsville, Alabama, the New Life Seventh-day Adventist church did not suffer damage, but two members lost their homes
  • In Huntsville, Alabama, the 3rd Quinquennial and 24th Regular Session of the South Central Conference has been postponed
  • In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, at least 6 members of the South Central Conference lost their homes. Several more received damage. One member has been hospitalized
  • In Tuscaloosa, Barbara Barnes, Adventist Community Services Co-Director for South Central Conference, was in a credit union when the tornado struck. The building next door was destroyed, she is ok
  • In Guntersville, Alabama, Pastor Arroyo’s home was damaged, but his family is ok
  • In Madison, Alabama, the Madison Mission Seventh-day Adventist Church is ok, but a couple of members lost homes and one member received damage to her front porch
  • In northern Mississippi, all members, pastors, and churches in the South Central Conference are ok
  • In Ooltewah, TN, Ed Wright, president of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference sustained damage to his home
  • Numerous other families in the Collegedale area have had their homes damaged or destroyed
  • In Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1 member of the Orchard Park Seventh-day Adventist Church received damage to their home

“Our prayers and condolences are with all those in the Southern Union who have been affected by these storms,” says Pastor Gordon Retzer, president of the Southern Union Conference territory. “In this time of turmoil, we can be comforted by God’s grace and mercies.”

Church officials in the affected areas are continuing to work with local and state emergency officials to continue assessing the situation in their local communities. The improving power, road, and telephone conditions are aiding officials in relief work.

Adventist Community Services is accepting monetary donations to assist with the response efforts. You can donate through their secure website,

Church members and Adventist Community Services/Disaster Response is on the ground and helping those affected by the storms. Read more on how members and the Seventh-day Adventist Church are helping those in need on our website, click here.

Updated press releases will be issued as information is available.