Portland looks to God after tornado’s fury

Posted at 11:43 PM, Jun 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-24 23:44:34-04

PORTLAND, Mich. - As clean up efforts continue, city leaders say the community is finding faith in today and hope for tomorrow.

Wednesday's candlelight vigil at Portland High School brought out members of all 8 churches for a time of worship and reflection.

Even after four churches in Portland sustained damage after Monday's tornado, hundreds of residents attended the vigil in unity, finding strength as the clean up continues.

Lt. Governor, Brian Calley, joined the community in prayer with a focus on how resilient Portland has been after the tornado.

"It's the idea that something terrible happened in our community and it brought out the best in everybody," said Lt. Gov. Calley.

Led by the Portland Ministerial Association, all eight church leaders were in attendance alongside Mayor Jim Barnes, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, and City Manager Tutt Gorman.

"I think tonight was about us coming together, and obviously you have many of the churches who were affected," said Gorman. "Even though we have many different denominations, we have one faith in Christ and we're all Christians, so it's the same theme as far as being united and together as one."

As recovery efforts continue, residents are mourning the loss of homes and businesses while giving thanks for the miracle of not losing any lives in Monday's tornado.

"We want this to be a time of faith, hope, and encouragement for the community," said Mayor Barnes. "Not to minimize the loss but we wanna focus on the positive and moving forward."

The First Baptist Church will tear down its steeple Thursday afternoon along with portions of the church wall which are too unstable following Monday's tornado.