Story by Melinda Smith found in

Little did Jerald Bass know that less than one year after completing his military service as US Army Chaplain in Operation Iraqi Freedom, he would likely face his biggest challenge in life as pastor of the Generations Free Will Baptist Church in Joplin, Mo.

On Sunday, May 22, Jerald and two of his daughters were at church when a massive and deadly tornado struck and destroyed the church building.  Miraculously, Jerald, his daughters, and several church members were crouching beneath tables for protection and were unharmed by the tornado.  In another miracle, the Bass family had recently moved from the parsonage to another house in Joplin which was spared from the tornado.

Since Bass’s deployment period, working with the 389th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in Iraq, exceeded one year in length, the Bixby Free Will Baptist Church adopted him and his family while he was serving.

The church was…

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