SALADO, Texas (Nexstar) — Surrounded by debris and rubble, a church in Salado decided to move forward with its Easter service and celebration Sunday, just a few days after a destructive tornado ripped through its town.

Donnie Jackson, the pastor of First Cedar Valley Baptist Church, said he felt called to preach.

“Lord, we know that through what seems to be so much damage… there is the Lord,” Jackson said. “It didn’t damage the spirit.”

Even when it may seem like one of the worst days, those who are deeply rooted in their faith found the strength to sing like it’s their best. Dozens of church members gathered outside of where their church once stood for the service.

“I had a pastor friend call me two days ago. He said — ‘brother Donnie, I know everything you have is destroyed. I have a pulpit I want to give to you,'” Jackson said.

Jackson said preaching from behind the pulpit, which dates back 100 years, is where the healing begins.

  • First Cedar Valley Baptist Church in Salado decided to move forward with its Easter ceremony and celebrations today, just a few days after a destructive tornado ripped through its town.
  • First Cedar Valley Baptist Church in Salado decided to move forward with its Easter ceremony and celebrations today, just a few days after a destructive tornado ripped through its town.
  • First Cedar Valley Baptist Church in Salado decided to move forward with its Easter ceremony and celebrations today, just a few days after a destructive tornado ripped through its town.

“Folks, I’ll promise you every step that we take. God’s going to be with us.”

Surrounded by destruction, there’s still hugging and hands locked in unity. There’s a will and statewide support to get past the tough times.

“I was with the governor yesterday [Saturday] with all the first responders and our representatives and all of that, and they have all been so supportive in every way,” Jackson said. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the response to a disaster and you’re greater than this one was.”

Jackson said they’re going to start rebuilding the church from the ground up as early as Monday.