MOORE, Okla. - Central Oklahoma is a breeding ground for severe weather. Some of the largest and deadliest twisters have occurred here, capable of destroying everything in their path.
May 20, 2013 was one of those days.
It was a giant swath, spinning through the heart of 'Tornado Alley.'
It was all but certain this fearsome monster would wipe out Highland Baptist Church on Moore's east side.
"The tornado was 800 yards west and bearing down on this property. We see this tornado coming straight at the church. And then we realize it's time to get out of here. It's time to get out of dodge," said Pastor Dave Evans.
To everyone's amazement, Highland Baptist Church was unscathed.
Mother Nature's wrath abruptly darted to the left.
"Suddenly, it turned, went to the north and around the property. It was a God thing. We were expecting everything to be gone. And here it is, still standing. I realized God was up to something pretty special," Evans said.
Within minutes, tornado victims began pouring into the building.
20,000 square feet would become a triage center for the walking wounded and a homeless shelter for the next 100 days.
Pastor Evans says Highland Baptist was extraordinarily equipped.
Days before the tornado, church members began dropping off food, water and other supplies.
It was meant to be used for a children's camp later that week.
But God clearly had another plan.
"It was really a God thing to see stacks of food and water, right there. God had provided," said Pastor Evans.
In this tornado-prone region, Highland Baptist Church has been in Mother Nature's cross hairs at least four times.
Each time, the tornadoes have swerved or died before causing any damage here.
Ironically, the church was dedicated on May 20, 1984 and Highland Baptist Church is still standing strong.
It is a safe haven, helping this community weather life's most horrific storms.