KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WBTV) -Saturday marks a year since tornadoes wreaked havoc across the Charlotte area. Several communities were impacted by severe storm damage. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 tornado passed right through the Kings Mountain area.
One of the structures that sustained serious damage was Dixon Presbyterian Church off Dixon School Road in Kings Mountain.
“We’d never had anything like that to happen here. It’s always gone around us or over us or some way, but it came right through the middle of here and it ripped it all to pieces,” explained Randy Patterson, the pastor at Dixon Presbyterian.
Patterson spoke to WBTV in the days following the severe storms. The church’s roof was punctured by a large tree limb and the interior of the sanctuary sustained water damage. The pastor did a follow-up interview Friday night about the storm, its aftermath, and the repair work that was done at the church.
“There was a lot of wind. The water was horrible. It could have been a lot worse if we had been in service. It would’ve been really bad,” said Patterson.
His congregation made the best of a bad situation. He said that with the assistance of a contractor in the congregation, the church sanctuary was fully repaired in three months’ time.
Unfortunately, by the time the sanctuary was ready to house visitors again, the coronavirus pandemic was well underway. Patterson said that for months the revitalized sanctuary sat empty. He said his congregation recently started meeting in-person again, but not at full capacity. Some of the church pews are taped off and remain empty during services. Masks are worn in the sanctuary too.
“It’s not the same because we do wear masks and I’ve told people a lot, you can’t tell when I’m smiling so it’s harder for me to communicate with them,” said Patterson.
While 2020 was full of a variety challenges for the congregation, Patterson remains positive.
“It could’ve been so much worse and it really wasn’t. God took care of us,” said the pastor.