Last April 27th, the day that virtually everybody in our area will remember, was the day that the tornadoes hit. If my memory serves me correctly there were over six hundred tornadoes across the nation that day and many hit our area. We went to Ruby Tuesday’s to have dinner and we enjoyed our meal. Of course, we knew the weather reports were out of possible tornadoes. I have always heard that they won’t come across the mountains. I don’t believe that anymore. We were having dinner. As a matter of fact, we were through with dinner and I had given the waitress my credit card to pay the bill. The lights flickered a couple of times while she was gone. Then they went out and we were sitting there in the dark for just a few seconds. I heard a voice from the kitchen, one of the employees screamed; “There’s a tornado. Run to the kitchen.” Where I was sitting in the main dining room along with a minister from South Africa named Johann Brewer, my evangelist. He was ahead of me and I’m the last one to leave the dining room. As I am running toward the kitchen something pushed me and I went about thirty feet. Just from here to there and did not lose my balance. Some two seconds longer where I was at and I would have been buried under the roof. As I landed in the kitchen I was still on my feet and I’m thinking; “Is this it?” Then it was over in less than thirty seconds.
Somewhere on the floor buried under debris, there was hot water running down on us from the plumbing that was overhead. Fortunately, everyone was okay. My evangelist was digging out of the debris. In his dialect he said; “I’m okay Pastor”. He was fine.
There were fifteen customers in the building that night and eight employees. We all escaped safely. As a matter of fact, we had already gotten away from there when the rescue response team was able to get there. They had to park at the interstate and walk in because it was virtually impossible to drive. It’s my understanding that when they arrived, they thought everybody in that building was dead. All that was standing was just at the back corner were the cooler and some had actually got inside the walk-in cooler. I never got that far.
There were eight deaths. There were four in one household in Cherokee Valley.
I have heard of miracles. In fact, I told our Sheriff, Phil Summers, my story. I said; “I know the hand of the Lord was there.” He said; “Oh, the hand of the Lord was on the whole place. It’s evident.”