INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- "It's just good to be alive," said Doyle Ankrom, pastor of Full Gospel Assembly Church in Independence, Mo.
About 50 people attended Sunday night's church service that ended just after 7 o'clock. Ankrom said he and his wife were the last to leave the building at about 7:30 p.m. They didn't get too far away when a wall of wind literally peeled off the roof and steeple from the roof. Alexis Ankrom was next door and saw the whole thing happen right in front of her.
"The roof, it was almost like it took from the back and just kind of flipped right onto the street," Ankrom said. "Peeled off like an onion."
But underneath the roof that blew away was the initial flat roof that was built in 1979. That helped protect the sanctuary from any water damage.
While the steeple and roof were damaged, a glass cross that was inside the steeple remained unbroken. It lay in tact on the roof. The church's van wasn't as fortunate. Pieces of the roof slammed down on it, destroying it. Ankrom's truck was also damaged, but he said the most important thing is that no one was hurt.
"Damage is one thing," he said. "Things can be replaced but lives can't."
Shortly after the storm rolled through, volunteers from other churches offered a helping hand.
"Such an outpouring -- a couple of churches should up," Ankrom said. "One showed up with about eight men offering to help clean up."
Ankrom said he will wait for instructions from his insurance company, expected to come later Monday. In the meantime, Ankrom said he will make plans to move next Sunday's service to the fellowship hall building, which was not damaged in the storm.
Watch Katie Ferrell's early morning interview with Pastor Ankrom on Monday below.