Hundreds Feast In Shadow of Northway Church's Tornado Damage

In the shadow of their own tornado-ravaged sanctuary, Northway Church set out tables under twinkle lights Wednesday to feed their neighbors and provide a retreat from the long days so many have faced.

"We are in this community together and we're all suffering together. That's a common foundation that we have right now," said lead pastor Shea Sumlin.

For the last couple of days, Northway has canvassed neighborhoods near its Walnut Hill home to provide labor and food for those working to clean up the mess an EF-3 tornado left behind.

Wednesday's dinner was a joint effort between Northway's members, First Mexican Baptist Church, which was also damaged, and several local businesses.

"The dinner's just kind of a communal piece in this to bring us together for a little bit of rest, a little bit of peace. Then we'll go right back to work in the morning helping with the physical needs that around us, so that kind of brings us together again tonight," said Sumlin.

It also brought relief for those like Julia Husa, one of the thousands still navigating life without power.

"It's really nice. It's really refreshing to see how kind everyone's being to each other. That's what's kind of come out of this. I've noticed how nice everyone's been," said Husa.

Gabriel Flores, whose friend rode out the storm in the damaged church, called it humbling.

"Since Sunday night, I've been seeing the structure just broken and what I call the church building being broken down. But what we call the church, which is the people, coming together and having some brisket is amazing," said Flores.

Wednesday night many of Northway's neighbors remain in the dark.

The church's sanctuary will have to be torn down and rebuilt, forcing the congregation to relocate for about a year.

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