Hurricane-proof church unbowed on Gulf coast

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Associated Press

Posted on October 12, 2013 at 12:04 AM

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (AP) — God is a mighty fortress, the old hymn goes, and the same could be said for Romar Beach Baptist Church.

With concrete walls more than a foot thick and pilings driven deep into bedrock, the waterfront church just yards from the Gulf of Mexico is built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 157 mph and higher.

Rev. Paul Smith didn't even consider canceling worship services last week when the remnants of Tropical Storm Karen were plowing through the Gulf of Mexico just off the horizon. Instead, he baptized a visitor in the Gulf after a 9 a.m. service, which was nearly full.

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