On This Date In 1994

| March 27, 2016 @ 6:51 am

On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1994, an EF-4 tornado struck the Goshen United Methodist Church, north of Piedmont, killing 20 people during the morning worship service; 92 were injured. A warning was issued 12 minutes before the tornado destroyed the church building, but unfortunately they never heard the warning.


The deaths at the church brought to light the deficiencies in the NOAA Weather Radio network across the United States at the time, and the lack of NOAA Weather Radio use in many public spaces. We have come a long way since then, but we have much work to do. Every home, business, church, and public place must have a way of hearing warnings.


Rick Bragg, a Pulitzer Prize winner and native of Jacksonville, wrote this remarkable account of the storm in the New York Times a few days later.

I was honored to deliver the first sermon from the pulpit of the new building when it open a couple of years later. This was, and still is a special church. Below is a 30 minute special (in three parts) we produced in 2004.

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Category: Met 101/Weather History

About the Author ()

James Spann is one of the most recognized and trusted television meteorologists in the industry. He holds the AMS CCM designation and television seals from the AMS and NWA. He is a past winner of the Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year from both professional organizations.

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