Americus church prays for community - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Americus church prays for community

March 4, 2007

Americus -- Some churches in downtown Americus were not severely damaged and held services as usual.

Members of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on Cotton Avenue came together to remember one of Sumter County's two fatalities in the storm. A church member's husband, Jerry Dukes, was killed in his home when the tornado hit.

Church leaders say up to 20 church members lost their homes completely, and several others with damage.

Members of the congregation say it was important to come together and pray for the community.

"It's a wakeup call alright, it really is. It's devastating really. Everywhere you go you know you see it on TV, but I see how it really really feels," said Mattie Jewel-Cannon.

Church leaders say attendance was lower than usual because of the number of displaced members.

A shelter next door to the church on Cotton Avenue is open to help those in need with food, shelter, or supplies.

The peacefulness at an Americus cemetery is disturbed by the high winds of the storm. Several trees were uprooted at the Oak Grove cemetery downtown, littering the grounds with limbs and other debris. The cemetery is the oldest in Americus, dating back to the 1850s.

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