Tennessee churches reflect on loss, close escapes after tornadoes

MADISON, Tenn. (AP) - Most of Metro Baptist Church in Goodlettsville was destroyed by a tornado Friday, but the pastor and others in the building at the time were not hurt. A miracle? Maybe.

Monday the congregation of about 600 held its first Sunday services at the gym of the church's private school in nearby Madison.

They were among dozens of churches in the area that mourned the tornado's victims and thanked God for what was not lost in the storm that claimed the lives of 12 people in the second round of deadly storms to hit the state in a week.

Last weekend, thunderstorms spinning out dozens of tornadoes killed 24 people in the western Tennessee counties of Dyer and Gibson. Four others died in Missouri and Illinois.

The worst damage Friday was in the northern suburbs of Nashville, where nine people were killed in Sumner County. Another three people died in Warren County, about 65 miles southeast of Nashville.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)