August 30, 2014
Ala church has seen 2 tragedies in past year
Posted on Apr 27, 2012 | by Anna Keller

Email this Story

My Name*:
My Email*:
  Enter list of email recipients, one address per box
Recipient 1*
Recipient 2
Recipient 3
Recipient 4
Recipient 5
To fight spam-bots, we need to verify you're a real human user.
Please enter your answer below:
Who was the first man?
  * = Required Fields Close
CENTRE, Ala. (BP) -- The small congregation of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church in Centre, Ala., has faced two life-changing obstacles in the past year. First its church building was largely destroyed by a tornado April 27, 2011. Then its pastor, Steve Tierce, was in a July 3 car accident that broke his neck and left him a paraplegic.

'God's been great to us, and we've been really blessed.' -- Dennis Tierce
But "God's been great to us, and we've been really blessed," said Dennis Tierce, a deacon at the church and Steve Tierce's cousin.

To enable the pastor to continue preaching intermittently, the church has fashioned a ramp that leads into the mobile chapel unit it's using as a sanctuary since the tornado. Tierce is still on a ventilator and has a trach tube, but he has been able to deliver sermons in between his surgeries and extended rehabilitation time in Atlanta.

"One of the other deacons, he and his dad built a ramp to help Steve get into the mobile unit," Dennis Tierce said. "They salvaged awnings and things from the old church and then built a ramp from it."

The church is just beginning the process of tearing down the old building, which the EF4 tornado literally lifted off its foundation and set down again, and they hope to have the new one finished by the end of the year. The building -- though it was remodeled in the mid-1950s -- was constructed in 1896, so there is significant sentimentality attached to it.

"Some of the older members hated to see it go and I did, too," Dennis Tierce said. "After all, I've been going to this church since I was a kid. There's a lot of history there."

Still, he said, the congregation seems excited for the new church to be built, and everyone is playing a role in the planning process.

"The morale of the people has been great," said Patty Tierce, Steve Tierce's wife. "Everyone has pitched in to help, and the community has been a blessing."
Anna Keller is a correspondent for The Alabama Baptist, online at
Latest Stories
  • LABOR DAY: R.G. Lee steeled by Panama Canal 'rugged toil'
  • Platt looks ahead to mission challenges
  • FIRST-PERSON: 10 things we owe David Platt
  • Transcript: David Platt press conference
  • TRUSTEES: Rainer on 'headwinds of change'; LifeWay downtown property studied; 2% revenue gain projected
  • Fire survivors thankful for Baptist relief
  • Afghan family longs for hope and peace
  • 2nd VIEW: TRUSTEES: Funding for short-term workers, Mideast refugee crisis accompany Platt vote
  • CALL TO PRAYER: Keep asking in prayer
  • FIRST-PERSON: The increase of narcissism
  • FIRST-PERSON: 'Don't Labor in Vain Day'
  • EDITORIAL: Por tres pecados, y por el cuarto
  • Add Baptist Press to
    your news reader


     © Copyright 2014 Baptist Press. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

    Southern Baptist Convention