Second Reformed Church

The cross at the top of Second Reformed Church in Fulton, Ill.

On Monday, Aug 10, shortly after the lunch hour, a mid-summer storm slammed into the town of Fulton, taking this community and its inhabitants pretty much by a startled and shocking surprise.

It hit the town and surrounding area with a mighty force the likes of which had not been seen in decades. This, only after it first flattened millions of acres of corn and soybeans in Iowa and damaged or destroyed a high percentage of homes and businesses in Cedar Rapids and many smaller communities located in its wide path – and finally, our sister community of Clinton, where it inflicted great damage to several businesses and residences and toppled countless numbers of trees like toothpicks.

The storm then came rampaging over the Mighty Mississippi with its sights squarely set on Fulton and that awe-inspiring cross standing on top of the Second Reformed Church on 14th Avenue and located in the very heart of the community.

For years this cross has been a beacon and focal point for travelers driving up and down the busiest street in town, reminding everyone who controls the powerful storms and mighty winds that blow throughout our world every day. In the daytime this cross stands guard over the town and is visible throughout the community. At nighttime it shines brightly, enveloping the surrounding darkness with its light to encourage all to look up and see the cross of Christ.

However, that light went out on that Monday afternoon as this terrible storm hit Fulton. This particular storm, labeled a derecho, blew into town with straight-line winds around 1:30 p.m. and it did so with little advance warning. It did not blow out of town until nearly a half hour later as wave after wave of high wind gusts were recorded at speeds nearing 80 to 100 mph. This storm will go down in Fulton’s history as the standard by which all future summer storms will be measured.

As powerful as this storm proved to be, it was no match for that remarkable cross of Christ standing atop the roof of Second Reformed Church. It could not be taken down! The storm battered and beat at it and did everything in its power to destroy it. But, in the end, the cross was not defeated. What a beautiful illustration this is for us as followers of Christ and members of His church. We will not be defeated by the storms of this life.

In time the cross will once again stand straight, upright and vertical and reach toward the heavens. The Church of Jesus Christ will overcome this world and the powers of darkness. And the storms of life that bombard us, and the evil that is so prevalent in our society and world today, will one day be forever defeated by Christ.

Patricia Pessman, Fulton, Ill.