Pastor, family killed in accident mourned among storm victims

LAFAYETTE, Tenn. (AP) -- Residents in Macon County took a break from cleaning up after a deadly tornado to give thanks for what they have left and to remember what they lost.

The churches' whose doors had been open since the tornado hit last Tuesday, killing 13 people, again welcomed community members yesterday.

But for one church in Lafayette this was the first service without a beloved minister who had supported families during the first 48 hours after the storm.

The Rev. Michael Welch of Lafayette United Methodist Church died last Thursday along with his wife and two of his children when a tractor-trailer struck their van.

Since a series of tornadoes rumbled through the South last Tuesday, the death toll has climbed to 59, and many others remained hospitalized or homeless.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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