Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers tarp a roof at FBC Cottonwood after a tornado damaged the building

Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief teams help after FBC Cottonwood hit by Jan. 9 tornado

As Jimmy Bolin walked up to his church to survey the tornado damage Jan. 9, he said one thing stood out, and it wasn’t that the damage was “bad, really bad.”

“On our sign for New Year’s, I’d put, ‘Praise the Lord in 2024,’” said Bolin, who serves as pastor of First Baptist Church Cottonwood. “That just stuck in my heart as I walked up to the church — what a test this is to praise the Lord.”

The church was hit by an EF-2 tornado that also killed an 81-year-old woman in her mobile home and destroyed several of the town’s government buildings.

‘Overwhelmed’ by Alabama Baptists’ help

The storm tore off FBC Cottonwood’s steeple, ripped off its awnings, took out two air-conditioning units, damaged the roofs and dropped a tree through the church’s fellowship hall, Bolin said.

“We were very fortunate — our adjuster came out yesterday, and they will start the renovations on Monday (Jan. 15),” he said. “We got what we could cleaned up and got the sanctuary ready for Sunday.”

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