When a tornado ripped through the sanctuary of Primera Iglesia Bautista of Dallas in 2019, they never envisioned that two years later they would still be without a sanctuary.
Pastor Brambila said, “What happened to Primera is something you wish never happens to any church ever.” Unable to rebuild due to its insurance policy not covering tornado damage, the damages estimated at $4.2 million have become a major hurdle for the congregation.
Reflecting on his experiences, Brambila said, “I encourage churches to have a plan to respond during a time of crisis. Create a plan that is bathed in prayer to respond, a plan that you consult with lawyers and other professionals [about], because now we know that you can lose your building in just 20 seconds.”
The tornado marks the second time in its history Primera Iglesia Bautista has been destroyed by a natural disaster. Earlier in 1930, a fire burned most of the original building to the ground.
Renting space at a local Presbyterian church, Primera Iglesia suffered another blow when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the congregation again to close its doors.
Despite all the hardships, the church continues to thrive and new members have joined. When Brambila came to the church, the congregation’s membership stood at just 15. Today, the congregation’s membership totals more than 100 members.
Commenting on his experiences, Pastor Brambila writes, “Through it all God has been faithful. We don’t have any debts, just debts of gratitude to all the volunteers and churches that came alongside to help us clear more than 100 tons of rubble that took more than three months to get done.”
If that is Primera Iglesia’s only debt, then they are well on their way to continue serving a beacon of light to communities across Dallas.
Source: Baptist Press