FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Before opening his Bible and preaching the last chapel message of the semester on April 27, President Paige Patterson called for a boot offering for a Southwestern student and his family stricken by recent storms.
Sam Bierig, a Master of Divinity student at the Little Rock extension campus, serves Walnut Valley Baptist Church near Hot Springs, Ark., as their youth pastor. A tornado destroyed both the church and Bierig’s nearby home.
“What you can give is not going to make that much difference, of course, in one way, but it will say a ton in regard to encouragement for them,” Patterson said.
Patterson led the students, faculty and staff in prayer for Bierg and his wife, during which he reflected on the tornado’s significance and the place of a minister within his congregation.
“I just can’t imagine what it is to lose every picture, every precious thing that has come to you in letters from loved ones, and everything else gone in a mighty blow, and I can only imagine not being able to think about that because you have to think about your people and the loss to your church,” Patterson said.
Patterson then called for several cowboy boots to serve as collection plates, as faculty and students obliged.
According to local news sources, the Walnut Valley area of the state was among one of the hardest hit areas by the series of storms, which struck both Monday and Tuesday. As of Wednesday, the state reported 11 casualties, widespread damage and statewide power outages.
Walnut Valley Baptist will hold church services in a nearby high school auditorium until the building is repaired, the Saline Courier reports.