Bible left untouched during Hattiesburg tornado; Open page reads ‘God is our refuge’

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) — In the midst of a destructive storm, a Bible sitting inside of a chapel is left untouched in Hattiesburg.

An EF-3 tornado damaged each building on William Carey’s University Saturday and other homes in the community. Four people died as a result of the storm.

Neighbors, community leaders, and volunteers are picking up the pieces to restore the areas destroyed.

During the cleanup process at William Carey, Rick Wilemon and others helping out took a break. They decided to stroll into Bass Chapel.

“The jewel in the crown,” is what they call it.

“And we walked in the front of the chapel, and as you’ll see from the photograph, you can remember, we could look straight up the aisle,” said Rick Wilemon, student and adjunct art instructor at William Carey. “And you could see the large stain glass window was missing.”

He noticed something sitting on a table under the window, a Bible.

“But that that Bible withstood the storm and it is a symbol for believers, like myself and the people at Carey,” Wilemon said. “And it was there; it was there to remind us that God is our constant companion.”

The Bible was open to Psalm 46, a verse dear to him.

“God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble,” he said.

“And therefore, it was just a surreal moment,” he said. It was an awe-inspiring moment, perhaps is the best way to put it.”

The doctoral student and art instructor says it reminds him and the William Carey family that God is there in times of trouble.

“Whether again you’re a believer or not. And there are some that aren’t. They’ve made it very plain and clear in their posts about this. We’re believers. And it brings us great comfort and joy to know that our God is there with us. And our God reminds us that He is there with us.”

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