Loudon Pastor Retires, Finds Out Granddaughter Is Safe From Wildfires

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Loudon, Loudon County (WVLT) -- A Loudon County Pastor has preached his final sermon after 12 years in East Tennessee.

Music rang out at the Loudon Church of God this morning as members celebrated more than a decade of leadership from the Pastor Jim Bowers.

He's stepping down because his wife passed away in February and he believes it's the right time to retire.

During his farewell service, he spent some time shaking hands, saying goodbye and even shedding some tears during his sermon.

Pastor Bowers also assured his congregation he is not finished spreading the word.

"I feel like God gave me the health at 82 to work for him, so I intend to stay busy," he said.

Bowers has ministered all over the country including Arizona, South Carolina and California, where this week he believes a miracle occurred this week.

That miracle he says was made possible by the power of prayer, which he believes helped save his granddaughter's home from the flames of the California wildfires.

The fire line came right up to her house and stopped at her lawn, sparing her home and personal belongings.

Tonight, the family is trying to put their lives back together.

A week ago, Kimberly Narramore saw flames coming over the hill behind her house, headed for her neighborhood.

That’s when she gathered her dog and personal belongings and left.

"I thought this will be the last time I get to see my home and I was okay, I just knew I needed to get out," said Kimberly said.

When she was finally able to return on Friday, her house was still standing.

Meanwhile, cars nearby were completely destroyed and neighbors homes were nothing more than a pile of rubble.

"It was just a sense that God saved my home and I felt really blessed, she said.

She is blessed and thanks her grandfather, Pastor Jim Bowers of the Loudon Church of God, for his spiritual support.

Roughly 3,000 miles away, Pastor Bowers was watching the around the clock news reports about the wildfires.

"I've been watching the news and doing some praying,” Pastor Bowers said.

He wasn’t alone, as his congregation joined him in special prayer at the church.

Pastor Bowers continues to pray for their recovery, but now he plans on doing more.

He is making the spiritual trek to the Golden State to make their days brighter.

“I want to be with them and encourage them in their loss and things they're going through," he said.

As for Kimberly, she had her first shower in 3 days on Sunday morning and put her personal belongings back in the home she thought she'd lost forever.

She says even though the wildfires were a terrible tragedy, she is grateful for the support she's received from across the nation.

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