Torrential rains across Tennessee today "flooded homes and at least one church and left roads impassable, prompting dozens of people to be rescued in the Nashville area," along with four dead, The Associated Press and multiple other outlets report. But for New Tribe Church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee—the church mentioned in the news reports—not even a natural disaster could stop the gospel from going forth.
New Tribe, described on its website as a "Spirit-empowered church," posted the sad news on Facebook today that "our church building is a complete loss due to local flooding. Knee high water broke through with enough force to wash our worship center chairs through the hallway and busting out the glass of the front entrance. .... It is a literal disaster area. Prayers and more prayers appreciated."
But another Facebook post attached to the church's livestreamed service from today, held despite the cancelation of in-person services, made its heart and passion clear: "Thank you for joining our livestream today! We are undergoing a unique circumstance due to flooding, but the gospel will go forth!"
Lead Pastor Jarod Smith addressed those watching as he spoke from the church's worship center: "We are smiling, but our hearts are devastated. There are not enough words to describe what it actually looks like," sharing details of the flood and thanking the many people who had already reached out with offers of help and support. He reminded his hearers that the church had already dealt with a tornado and the COVID-19 pandemic but that "This gospel will go forth."
The message already planned for today, Palm Sunday, focused on praise as displayed through the triumphal entry of Jesus. Smith said, "Literally at my feet are piles of worship center chairs that have been completely destroyed. No one is in this room right now, and yet here I am, getting ready to bring a message of praise."
"'Hosanna! Save us now!' That is the story of the triumphal entry of Jesus from Jerusalem," Smith said, exhorting his hearers that Jesus knows and cares about their needs and listens to the cries of their hearts.
"This week's going to look different for us, but we're not going to let it steal our hosanna. This week might look different for you—don't let it steal your hosanna," he said, pointing his hearers toward Easter services "although we don't know where that's going to be."
Even as early as this morning, individuals and churches reached out to the New Tribe family to offer their prayers and support. Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church, also in Mount Juliet, responded to New Tribes' original Facebook post about the flood, saying his church "took up an offering for you guys today. I'll be by after lunch to drop it off. So sorry this has happened but God is gonna turn it all around for His glory. Thank you for your faithfulness to the Gospel."
Others asked if a donation site had been set up, and another Facebook poster commented, "The troops are rallying on behalf of New Tribe, Pastor Jarod!!!"
Please join the Charisma News Staff in prayer for Smith and the New Tribe Church family as they deal with this loss and look toward the promise of the Resurrection.
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