Albany Church shelters sister church's members

Updated: Jan. 24, 2017 at 1:30 AM EST
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Source WALB
Source WALB
Source WALB
Source WALB
Source WALB
Source WALB

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Now that the storm has passed, the community help is underway across South Georgia.

Close to 100 members of a South Albany Hispanic church sheltered together at the First United Methodist Church of Albany on Monday night.

The work of the El Faro Lay Pastor probably saved many lives on Sunday.

At least 80 people will spend Monday night in the Albany First United Methodist Church gym.

On Sunday night, there were more than 100 members of the El Faro United Methodist Church sheltering after the tornado hit.

Lay Pastor Haroldo Vicente called the members to the church Sunday afternoon when the weather sirens sounded.

"Most of our members they live in mobile homes. That's when I started calling everybody to get in the church," said Vicente.

Many of the families live around the Holly Drive area, and his call probably saved many lives.

When First United Methodist was asked to pray for the church members, they said we can do better, and opened their gym as a Good Samaritan shelter.

"People have come out of the woodwork. We've had restaurants volunteer to do a whole meal for us. We've had people provide water and food and snacks.  And it's just been overwhelming how many people have given," explained First United Methodist Church of Albany Senior Minister Thad Haygood.

In fact, so much food and water has been donated, Vicente and his church members are going out in the morning to donate to other storm victims.

"My people and I try to do the best we can to help the good people," said Vicente.

"God is at work. Good things are happening even though it's just so devastating down there. It's unbelievable," explained Haygood.

Most of the church members had home's damaged or are without power.

But they are safe together at First United Methodist until they can return home.

They have food and temporary clothes, but First United Methodist leaders are collecting monetary donations to help the El Faro Methodist Church members get back home.

You can drop off donations or gift cards at 307 Flint Avenue.

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