The brutal winter storms that struck Texas last week damaged more than 60 Assemblies of God churches, including at least 57 churches in the North Texas district. Highly unusual and prolonged freezing temperatures, lack of insulation, and no power resulted in everything from small leaks in pipes to pipes bursting and causing extensive damage.
Kermit Bell, assistant superintendent for the North Texas district, is grateful for prayers for pastors and congregations in the district as dozens of churches experienced a wide range of water damage. Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie also fell victim. It reported a standpipe burst in two of its dormitories. Few sections in the district escaped unscathed.
Bell explains that the severity of the damage at some of the churches is unknown at this point, as many churches did not yet know the full extent of the damages.
Shane Klinkerman, the Disaster Relief coordinator for the South Texas district and pastor of First Assembly in LaPorte, says that information has been slow to come in, but that so far he’s aware of four or five churches that experienced water damage.
“We had from a small leak in one location to Calvary Temple in San Antonio that when the doors were opened, water came flowing out,” Klinkerman says. “I don’t think we [South Texas] experienced as much damage as they did in the north as the cold didn’t last as long and not everyone lost power.”
In the West Texas district, Superintendent Glenn Beaver says that so far only one church has reported damage from the freezing temperatures; New Hope Assembly in Panhandle had a waterline to its baptismal break.
The Texas Gulf Hispanic district has had one church, Iglesia Cristiana Emanuel in Laredo, have pipes burst, and the West Texas and Plains district (Hispanic) also had a church, Jerusalem AG in San Angelo, experience significant damage due to burst water lines. The Texas Louisiana Hispanic district also had a church, Templo Gethsemani in Rosenberg, experience heavy damage due to burst water pipes.
Many of the districts are working in partnership with Convoy of Hope to help minister to victims of the storm. According to a Convoy of Hope release, the compassion organization has either sent or is in the process of sending more than 60 tractor-trailers full of resources, including 2.2 million bottles of water, to Texas. In addition to water, extra cleaning supplies have been added to the shipments to help people whose homes were damaged.