Return to Ridgecrest: Turning toward religion after being rocked

Return to Ridgecrest

RIDGECREST, Calif. (KGET)—Religion is the bedrock of a rural community like Ridgecrest, and after the earthquakes, people turned toward their faith to recover.

Even six months after the temblors, the Sunday service at Calvary Chapel still mentions the event and their trauma.

“Two earthquakes and we survived,” said Pastor JP during his sermon. “The whole city of Ridgecrest was shaken. People fled the town. I did.”

To this day, frequent aftershocks have many members of the congregation living in fear.

“A 9.0 could hit and we could die,” said Associate Pastor Terry Morrison. “But our hope is in Jesus.”

Calvary Chapel itself sustained significant damage.

“When the roof pulled away from the walls and fell, the county restricted us from holding services in here until we got it fixed,” Morrison explained. “It took about two months to get it fixed.”

However, after the church posted photos of their damage online, $11,000 in donations poured in from strangers around the country.

“When I opened that first check, saw it was from LA—and the amount wasn’t that much—but to know that other people wanted to help us, I almost came to tears,” Morrison said. “It moved me; it really did. And then more came in, and more came in, and I thought, Lord, you are so good.”

Their story is another testament to how Ridgecrest still stands strong.

“Not a single person died in these earthquakes,” Pastor JP wrapped up his sermon. “He shook us, but He did not kill us.”

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