One year later, Harrisburg remembers tornado victims

Meredith Flynn —  March 5, 2013

Tuesday_BriefingTHE BRIEFING | Meredith Flynn

People filled the gym bleachers at Harrisburg High School Sunday evening, March 3, to honor eight victims of last year’s devastating tornado. WSIL-TV’s news cameras were there to capture the images: Local church leaders prayed and led in worship, and attenders sang “Bless the Lord, O My Soul,” a song that speaks of “10,000 reasons” to praise God.

Earlier that day, Pastor Chris Winkleman began his sermon at First Baptist, Harrisburg, with a few words about the storm. After his congregation sang “It is Well with My Soul,” Winkleman said, “I remember a year ago, we sang that song. I talked to you then about how it being well with your soul is really all that matters.”

Winkleman’s church lost one member – 22-year-old Jaylynn Ferrell – during the storm. Her mother Patty shared Jaylynn’s story during the service at Harrisburg High School. Two other members of IBSA churches, Lynda Hull of FBC Raleigh and Mary Osman of Walnut Grove Baptist, also were killed during the tornado.

“It might not be well with your home, it might not be well with your body, but I hope it’s well with your soul,” Winkleman told his church Sunday morning. “And that doesn’t change a year after a story, does it? That’s still our desire, isn’t it?

“For the folks in this room, for the folks in this town, for the folks in this world, that it would be well in their souls. …Only Jesus makes it well with our souls.”

-With information from WSIL-TV Harrisburg and the website of FBC Harrisburg

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Meredith Flynn


Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.

One response to One year later, Harrisburg remembers tornado victims


    Thanks for this piece. One of the BFI trustees (Neal Patterson) lost his sister in this storm, and the reminder about our God’s faithfulness is appreciated. DM