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Oklahoma AG Church Loses Portion of Roof as Tornadoes Strike Midwest States

Baum Assembly of God in Ardmore, Oklahoma, lost a major portion of the sanctuary roof when an EF-3 tornado hit the community.
The outbreak of deadly tornadoes over the weekend in Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, left behind a trail of destruction, including at least four deaths.

According to pastor Bradford Buchanan, at 11:47 Saturday night, he and his wife, Sandra, heard what was later determined to be an EF-3 tornado ripping through their Ardmore, Oklahoma, community. The couple, who live just a quarter mile from their church, Baum Assembly of God, soon realized the church had suffered a hit.

“The tornado took almost the complete northside of the sanctuary roof off and about two-thirds of the roof off on the south side,” Bradford Buchanan says. “A part of the roof was in the parking lot, part in the backyard, part in the pasture behind the church . . . later, we had a neighbor call who lives about ½ mile down the road asking if we wanted some of our tin back because it was in her pasture.”

Buchanan, who’s been leading Baum AG for nearly 17 years, says that as he sat looking at the damaged church Sunday morning, he broke down.

“I just had to thank God — it could have been so much worse,” he says. “God is good to us.”

Buchanan says that his son and another church member are flatbed truck drivers, meaning they have heavy-duty tarps to cover their loads. Sunday morning, volunteers from the church assisted in putting those tarps over the exposed decking to temporarily secure the sanctuary. Volunteers also assisted in removing a large tree limb that fell onto the parsonage.

“I’ve been blessed . . . they’re sweet, sweet folks,” says Buchanan, who notes the church of 40 has recently been growing after taking a heavy hit during COVID.

Services will continue to be held at the church in their fellowship hall, which was spared damage, until permanent repairs can be made to the sanctuary.

Oklahoma Assemblies of God Superintendent Darryl E. Wootton is thankful that only minor damage occurred to other AG churches in Oklahoma and is appreciative for the immediate response of Convoy of Hope.

Convoy of Hope is currently set up in Oklahoma at Crystal Rock (AG) in Ardmore and in the city of Sulphur, which suffered extensive tornado damage. The compassion organization also had teams on the ground in Iowa and Nebraska within 24 hours of tornadoes hitting communities in those states.

Dan Van Veen

Dan Van Veen is news editor of AG News. Prior to transitioning to AG News in 2001, Van Veen served as managing editor of AG U.S. Missions American Horizon magazine for five years. He attends Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, where he and his wife, Lori, teach preschool Sunday School and 4- and 5-year-old Rainbows boys and girls on Wednesdays.