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Double Springs Church Joins Safe Place Program

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Double Springs Church Joins Safe Place Program

Double Springs Church of Christ the first church in middle Tennessee to join the new Community Safe Place program.

The program provides community shelters when severe weather threatens the area. Church Elder Terry Coomer said the expeerience with the March 2020 tornado showed the church family the need for such facilities. Coomer said the 2020 tornado passed right behind the church and left devastation in its wake. He said the church served as an emergency shelter during the storm and volunteers began serving breakfast and clearing debris the following morning.

“Humans want to try to be kind and caring, or we think most people are that way,” Coomer said. “And as a church, you know, we’re called to be with those that are in need or less fortunate.”

Coomer said Putnam County EMS asked that the church provide the same support during future weather emergencies. He said anytime a tornado watch is activated, EMA will reach out and ask if the church can open its doors. He said the robust group of volunteers has proved eager to roll up its sleeves and provide safety to its Putnam County family and beyond.

He said since becoming an official safe place, the church has stayed open for as long as 10 hours to provide shelter to those in need.

Coomere said people come from miles around to seek safety, or to volunteer. He said during one tornado, a volunteer traveled all the way from Michigan to spend the night and participate in relief efforts.

“I think the tornado went through about 1:00am or 2:00am,” Coomer said. “And we were cooking and sending people out to help. We had about four or five members that completely lost their homes. One family that had started attending actually lost their lives.”

He said people from outside the Upper Cumberland and even outside of the state are welcome to stay if they do not have safe shelter from a storm. He said in the event of a tornado watch or warning, those shopping or traveling through the area are invited to stop by and wait out the storm with refreshments. He said Putnam County EMA toured the building and found the safest possible spot to use as a storm shelter.

“The tornado came and the tornado went, and all of the volunteers came and all of the volunteers went,” Coomer said. “But we’re still there. It was part of our community, and we were there long after, and knew that we would be there long after.”


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