A Dallas church, ripped apart by a tornado six months ago, is trying to raise $4.5 million to rebuild. That plan was put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic.
The tornado destroyed the First Mexican Baptist Church, leaving only brick arches standing.
Pastor Ricardo Brambila said he found an unexpected blessing.
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“We’re thankful for the tornado because we owe nothing. Our expenses have been really low because we don’t own a building that we have to pay,” said Brambila.
Congregants worked together to clean up the rubble after the tornado.
The church just signed a lease to temporarily move into a new house of worship, John Calvin Presbyterian Church.
And then came COVID-19, canceling church services, and the plan to relocate.
"It’s been a setback, definitely. I cannot say it’s fun,” said Brambila.
A grand ‘re-opening’ scheduled for Easter Sunday, was postponed till June. Church services and classes are all held online.
“As a pastor, I’m going to be preaching from my house. My house is for me to come be with my family. But it’s not the house of the Lord,” said Brambila.
His priority is to care for church members, many who work in construction, or the restaurant industry and may not have a job to return to.
“Our building is secondary. Right now our people need to have a plate of food in front of them, a roof over their heads, and clothes,” said Brambila.
First Mexican Baptist Church is partnering with the Highland Park Presbyterian Church for a food drive this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. to serve single parents and those affected by COVID-19.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.