Church cross remains standing among tornado damage

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MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) -- Members of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Muscatine, Iowa are counting their blessings.

A tornado Monday ripped through a portion of the Muscatine area and caused severe damage to the back of the church. Members believe the chimney was knocked down by the tornado and fell on top of the organ, crushing it inside the building.

Director of Media Ministries, Katie Roquet, said many of the members were astonished by the damage.

"It was just silent, it was eerily silent," Roquet said. "We were all in shock, all our jaws dropped. It was dark. We were trying to see what we could even see and nobody even spoke, were just in shock."

According to Roquet, the church is most known for their music. Their organ that was built in 1983 was the largest in Iowa when it was first installed. The organ was crushed by the tornado, but the cross above it is still standing. Parishioner, Don Fick, said it's a symbol of the strength within their community.

"It's almost awesome, the community that develops in this face of tragedy, especially when there was no one injured," Fick said. "We are talking bricks and mortar and the church is certainly more than bricks and mortar. It has a spirit; it has a soul."

Church officials said they plan to have a service on Sunday. They are still working to find an alternate location.