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'The Lord Is Gracious': Christian School Smashed by Nashville Tornado Finds 'a Blessing' Despite the Rubble

Image credit: Facebook/Bret Schierling/Permission to use
Image credit: Facebook/Bret Schierling/Permission to use

A Christian school in Nashville was severely damaged by the tornado that tore through Tennessee early Tuesday morning.

On a Facebook post, Donelson Christian Academy (DCA) wrote, "Due to significant damage to the Academy from the tornado, DCA will be closed. Please be in prayer for our school and the Stanford Estates neighborhood."

DCA is a private Christian school with students from preschool through twelfth grade. 

During a live video, DCA Principal Bret Schierling explained how severe the damage was throughout the campus. 

'A Blessing': No Students Hurt

"The biggest part of the damage is to the elementary wing. The roof is off on quite a bit of this - a lot of little kids items - which makes us thankful this didn't happen during the school day," Schierling said. "It's good that it happened at one-o'clock in the morning rather than one-o'clock in the afternoon. We can find a blessing in that even."

He said that a portable classroom appeared to have been picked up and thrown toward the kindergarten classrooms - then ripping the roof off. 

"The frame of the portable structures for the preschools landed on top of the roof. A lot of windows are out. When that portable blew up this way, it came by and ripped off this roof," Schierling explained.

Schierling revealed the magnitude of devastation dealt to the sports fields and everything near them. 

"The bleachers are all over our campus. The roof of our recently opened concessions, restroom, hospitality center is gone. The framing is gone." 

The principal thanked God that no one was at the school when the tornado struck.

"The Lord is gracious. Kids could have been here. We could of had baseball games, soccer games and softball games going on. There's all kinds of things that could of made this a lot worse," he said.

Surrounding schools began posting prayer requests for DCA and others impacted by the storm.

The Webb School located in Bell Buckle, TN wrote, "Let's pray together for Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, Donelson Christian Academy and more."

Brentwood Academy located in Brentwood, TN tweeted, "Please join us in praying for our friends at Donelson Christian Academy and all those affected by the storms."

Albertville High School in Albertville, TN wrote, "Please join us in praying for one of our choir family. The school, the kids and the community at Donelson Christian are in our thoughts and prayers!"

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to those effected by the storms in the Nashville area, especially our friends at Donelson Christian and Mt. Juliet Christian!"

Schierling stressed that DCA will overcome these obstacles and will finish out the school year at other sites.

"We are going to have school. We are going to finish this year out and start talking about sites we can have school and finish somewhere," he concluded.

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