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Storm victims, volunteers gather at Beech Grove for reflection and a meal

At noon on Good Friday, the darkest hour of the Christian year signifying the crucifixion of Jesus, the people of Beech Grove Baptist Church in Coke were working to resurrect the spirits and energy of their tornado-stricken neighbors.

It was the seventh day since the powerful storm had roared through their neighborhood, blamed for deaths, destroyed and heavily damaged homes, and utter disruption of life on the quiet back roads of Gloucester County.

Beech Grove, itself only lightly damaged, threw open its social hall for a community lunch and its sanctuary for anyone needing a time of prayer and reflection. Church members went door-to-door to invite residents and cleanup workers to the event, and provided fried chicken, deviled eggs, a pile of desserts and other foods.

Members of Petsworth Baptist and Bellamy United Methodist churches, not far from the tornado zone, pitched in to supply cakes, beans, macaroni salad and beverages.

A number of Gloucester County businesses donate...

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