SALADO, Texas (FOX 44)- The Salado community has shown resilience over the past seven months. On April 12th the Cedar Valley area in Salado was swept by an EF-3 tornado damaging large structures including The First Cedar Valley Baptist Church.

“Since April the 12th, the tornado took everything. We had Easter service right on the slab, and it was one of the most powerful services that we’ve ever had,” says Pastor Donnie Jackson.

Pastor Donnie Jackson says after experiencing such disaster, the community really stepped up to help one another during a time of need.

“The community gave not only cash donations and stuff, but have donated labor materials and all of that too. That’s been outstanding,” says Pastor Donnie.

Last time FOX 44 went to Salado back in April, the town was swept with destruction, people trying to salvage what they could in the rumbles. The First Cedar Valley Baptist Church, was one of many properties hit by the tornado. Majority of the structure of the church was destroyed by the high winds, but what surprised Pastor Donnie the most was the cross on the wall that stayed intact.

“This was our entryway right here. This seemed to have the last damage. And I believe that cross protected that,” says Pastor Donnie.

Seven months later, the church is close to being ready to reopen. Pastor Donnie says the cross that stay intact will go back to where it used to be, with LED light behind it.

After the tornado hit, many people were devastated, but Pastor Donnie says God always has a purpose.

“We have a much nicer building. It’s larger. We’re going to be able to add on to our parking lot and all of the things that we have on your wish,” says Pastor Donnie.

Pastor Donnie and the Salado community is hoping to have the church doors open to the public in time for Christmas service.

He also wants to thank everyone who’s reached out to help their church community and offered donations.

“I’ve been blessed in so many ways that that I wouldn’t even dare to to list those because I don’t want to leave anybody out,” says Pastor Donnie.