Portland Church Preparing for Reopening its Doors

(Portland, MI) - Four months after a tornado swept through the City of Portland one of the four churches badly damaged will reopen its doors Sunday.

The First Baptist Church of Portland is rebuilding in multiple phases and the first phased is almost done.

"We will be moving into our fellowship hall slash gymnasium and start having our services there," said Pastor Gary Coleman. "I am amazed at the job the workers have done, the contractors and the subcontractors, they've done an amazing job and we're satisfied."

Pastor Coleman was in the church basement when the tornado hit.

"It just was suddenly like the building was under attack. I knew what was happening" said Pastor Coleman.

While inside all Pastor Coleman could think about was the safety of his family. Unable to reach them and worried about their safety all he could do was pray.

"I jumped up out of my chair and darted for my door. I caught myself and said no this is the best place to be. Concrete wall behind me. Concrete roof over me and so I just set back down in my chair and started praying for my family," said Pastor Coleman.

After the storm cleared the pastor rushed home to find his family safe. Then he went back to the church to assess the damages. "I really felt at that moment that the church had been destroyed" said Pastor Coleman.

The structure of the church was still intact and instead of destroying the building, they repaired the damages. Structural engineers said they could do selective demolition of parts severely damaged and build up what they can.

When parishioners return Sunday they will be meeting in the church's gymnasium. While it will be something different, the are still grateful to be back in their place of fellowship. "There's gonna be some adjustments but overall everyone will handle it very smoothly like they have thus far and just make the necessary adjustments and we'll soon settle in to a routine till we get back in here" said Pastor Coleman.