According to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, at least 22 people were killed when unprecedented tornadoes and high winds ripped through a 145-mile stretch of Tennessee, including the Nashville area, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Dozens of homes have been damaged or destroyed, and multiple people hospitalized or injured. Crisis-trained chaplains from the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) are on the way to Mt. Juliet, a suburb of Nashville, and hard-hit Cookeville, 80 miles east of Nashville, to minister to those facing loss and upheaval from the storm.
“When I woke up this morning, I was saddened to read about the tornadoes in Tennessee,” Franklin Graham shared on Facebook. “We have many friends and family in the Nashville area. I pray there will be a quick recovery and that God will wrap His arms around those who have lost loved ones and are hurting.”
During the RRT’s third tornado deployment of 2020—the others being in DeSoto, Mississippi, and Spartanburg, South Carolina—they’re headed to serve alongside their sister ministry, Samaritan’s Purse. Chaplains are ready to offer a listening ear to those in shock, and later to homeowners receiving physical relief.
“March a lot of times signifies the start of tornado season,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the RRT. “We are deeply saddened, particularly about the extensive loss of life throughout the state of Tennessee.
“We have crisis-trained chaplains en route and on standby to provide and offer God’s comfort and hope through Jesus Christ to those who are grieving.”