A tornado that destroyed a 100-year-old church in Garfield County didn’t keep its parishioners from attending their regular service.


A tornado that destroyed a 100-year-old church in Garfield County didn’t keep its parishioners from attending their regular service.
The congregation of Potter Community Church met for a worship service Sunday on the foundation where the church previously stood.
Descendants of the church’s original members still attend services at the church in southeast Garfield County, where a slow-moving storm on Saturday destroyed the church.
Water seeped into the foundation on Sunday, while the remains of the church building lay crumpled about 10 feet away. Benches were set up on the foundation, where the choir sang anthems beneath an overcast sky.
The church was established in the old Potter community in 1902, said Bonnie Koch Roberts, 92, whose parents and grandparents built and attended the church.
“My grandfather helped to build it in 1904, and in 1914 we paid off the $500 mortgage,” Roberts said with tears in her eyes.
Roberts, who now lives in Enid, has been a member of that church for 53 years and once played piano there every Sunday.
The church never has had running water, used outhouses set up nearby and regular attendance seldom is more than 10. But the pastor, Sam Jerome, said it’s the people who make the church.
The church is all that remains of the Potter community. Originally built as a Christian Church, the name was changed to Potter Community Church.
The church had been raising money to repair the roof and has about $1,500 in the treasury. A fundraiser has been set for June 21. Bonnie Roberts has been making quilts and aprons for it.
The fundraiser will be the start of the rebirth of Potter Community Church.
“This is not the end of Potter. You and your faith will carry it on,” Jerome said.