Book sharing stories of survival during Jackson tornado to be released
JACKSON — A forthcoming book tells the story of the Feb. 5 tornado that slammed the Union University campus, and includes the stories of students and others who point to God’s care and protection for them that night.
“God in the Whirlwind: Stories of Grace from the Tornado at Union University,” written by Tim Ellsworth, Union’s director of news and media relations, is set for a June 1 publication date. The book is being published by B&H Publishing Group of Nashville.
“In the days following the tornado, I began to notice some common themes emerging from the stories I was hearing,” Ellsworth said. “One of those themes was the way in which God providentially spared the lives of our students the night of Feb. 5 — and how in many of those cases, mere inches were the difference between life and death.”
The book consists of 20 chapters, each a different story about a Union student, family member or employee. Interspersed throughout the book are brief first-person testimonies from students about their experiences during the tornado.
“The accounts you’ll find here aren’t simply survivor stories,” Ellsworth writes in the book’s introduction. “They are stories of faith in the midst of the tornado. They are stories of how God had His way in the whirlwind and storm. And they are potent examples of how a loving God protected the helpless, and used imperfect, sinful people to showcase His miraculous power and His saving grace to the entire world.”
Also included is a 16-page insert of color photographs, all taken by Union photographer Morris Abernathy.
Union President David S. Dockery wrote the foreword to the book.
“The book does not attempt to answer many unresolved and lingering questions with which we continue to struggle,” Dockery writes. “Yet, it does point us to an infinitely powerful and absolute loving God. Somehow, in ways that we will understand in future days, the events associated with the devastating tornado that hit Union University on February 5 help us see that God has a plan and purpose for all things.”
Proceeds from “God in the Whirlwind” will benefit the Union University Disaster Relief Fund. The book will be available at LifeWay Christian Stores. All Union students, faculty and staff will receive a free copy of the book. Details will be available at a later date.
Published in The Messenger 4.30.08