Photo gallery: Tornado destroys Zion Lutheran in Delmont, S.D.

Church member Kera Kaufman tries to salvage items at the damaged altar of Zion Lutheran Church on Monday, May 11, 2015, in Delmont, S.D. A tornado swept through the area on May 10 and destroyed the church along with nearby homes. (LCMS Communications/Erik M. Lunsford)

Church member Kera Kaufman tries to salvage items at the damaged altar of Zion Lutheran Church on Monday, May 11, 2015, in Delmont, S.D. A tornado swept through the area on May 10 and destroyed the church along with nearby homes. (LCMS Communications/Erik M. Lunsford)

An EF2 tornado ripped through Delmont, S.D., mid-morning on Sunday, May 10, and destroyed Zion Lutheran Church. The twister claimed no lives but injured nine people, including at least one Zion member who was hospitalized.

Some 20 homes were severely damaged, including those belonging to five Zion families. Also demolished is the church parsonage, the home of Zion’s pastor, the Rev. Brian Bucklew, who was out of town at the time of the storm but was traveling home on May 11.

Photographs by Erik M. Lunsford / LCMS Communications

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5 Responses to Photo gallery: Tornado destroys Zion Lutheran in Delmont, S.D.

  1. Valerie May 13, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    Does anyone know if volunteer teams will be sent out over the next year or two to help rebuild? We have a group that would love to come help out.

    • Michael May 13, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Valerie, this is a wonderful question. Right now, the need for volunteers is pretty low. The few volunteers they had in the first couple of days were simply doing salvage work at the church and parsonage. We’ll have more information once the church and affected families have further conversations with their insurance companies.

      If it is determined that volunteers will be needed during the rebuilding process, we’ll be sure to post that need on the LCMS Disaster Response Facebook page. Feel free to follow us there in order see the latest updates. You can also email us a disaster@lcms.org if you have any further questions. Thanks again for your prayers and your desire to show mercy in this time of need!

      • Valerie May 27, 2015 at 9:55 am #

        Thank you, Michael, I will keep an eye on the Facebook page!

  2. Donna Vesper Myers May 13, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

    I see in one of the photos someone carrying one of the stained glass windows. Are they going to be able to salvage more of them?
    What about the alter?
    Where the pipe organ was took most of the force -so I assume it is gone beyond repair.
    (I don’t live in SD, but my grandmother was confirmed in Zion, aunts and uncles were married there, cousins were confirmed there – it always felt like home).

  3. Jennifer Bucklew May 28, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    The alter at Zion was removed and it does appear to be salvageable. Much of the beautiful stain glass was ruined. Members were able to remove and keep small pieces in hopes to incorporate them in a new building. The organ is in pretty bad shape as the balcony did collapse, but a specialist has looked at it and said all the important parts are intake so we are hopeful. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during this time for our congregation.

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