The Small Town Situation

| May 1, 2011 @ 2:45 pm | 9 Replies

There are a host of small towns that were greatly impacted, and in some cases, completely wiped out by Wednesday’s tornadoes. My wife and I just returned from a supply run to Eoline in Bibb County. Eoline is a small community on the side of US 82 a few miles northwest of the Alabama Highway 5 intersection with US 82 in Brent.

We loaded up at the Alabaster Wal-Mart along with our neighbors Dave and Elizabeth Furst. They asked where we would be taking the supplies, and I just told them we would load up and head wherever the Lord led us. I felt like we should go to Eoline. As we drove up US 82, I knew we would quickly come up into the damage path of the EF-3 tornado, but I had no idea exactly where we would take the supplies. Fortunately, it was obvious once we got there.

The Eoline Baptist Church is still standing right next to the demolished fire department; many homes are destroyed in this small community, and according to George Marchant, the pastor of the Assembly of God Worship Center in Centreville, people are walking around in a daze still unable to believe that they have lost everything.

Pastor Marchant and I had a conversation while we unloaded the truck, and he told me how he had grown up in Eoline and had wanted life to slow down so people could really know each other again; they had even planned a community cook-out for the summer. On this Sunday, it is happening, but obviously not the way they had expected. He explained how the church building was open as a distribution point for the community, and he said he knew it had to be God bringing the supplies to Eoline because numerous trucks had passed them headed for Tuscaloosa.

One thing he said to me as we were leaving that will always stick with me was this: “God didn’t bring the storm, but he brought all of us together after it.”


A number of volunteers are on hand at Eoline Baptist Church accepting donations of anything and everything you can bring. One need they have right now (2:00 PM on Sunday) is paper plates, cups, and utensils. Pastor Marchant says most people in that area want to wait for insurance adjusters to come in before they start cleaning up much, so volunteers are needed a few days from now.

I’ll add, though, that some volunteers with tarps for damaged homes would be useful for the structures that are still standing. If you can get there this afternoon, someone at the church can direct you to the most heavily-damaged areas (Murphy Road off Bibb Co. Hwy 16 in particular).

There are a lot of smaller communities around this state that feel a little forgotten; the need is great all over the place, so if you can, go by and check on some small towns that might not be getting the same attention. The situation is the same all over the state, and they all need our help. If you are not able to physically go to places like Eoline, Sawyerville, Hackleburg, Hanceville, Fairview, Dadeville, Williams, Ohatchee, or Shoal Creek (just to name a few), please donate to ABC 33/40’s Neighbors in Need campaign.

A few photos from Eoline:

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Category: Hodgepodge

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