"I wholeheartedly believe that he's ok;" TRBC pastor and wife stuck in path of Irma
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- It started as a wedding anniversary present, but quickly turned ominous.
Thomas Road Baptist Church's pastor Jonathan Falwell said he and his wife, Shari, are stranded in Saint Martin in the path of Hurricane Irma.
Falwell tweeted out a picture of the devastation near the shelter he and his wife are staying in and said there is no power, no water, and everything is destroyed.
Thomas Road's executive pastor said the community is praying for the safe return of Falwell and his wife and everyone impacted by Hurricane Irma.
"Mom for the longest time, didn't know where she was going, until somewhere till mid last week," said Jonathan Falwell, Jr. "She was very excited, they both were."
Falwell's son said his parents heard about Hurricane Irma before they left.
"They changed their flights coming out Tuesday, so they could beat the storm," Falwell, Jr. said.
But they didn't get out in time.
"When they started boarding up all the windows everywhere, that's when they were like this is serious," he added. "Their night of their 25th wedding anniversary they had to share a room with 200 other strangers."
"I wholeheartedly believe that he's ok. I know they're fine, but I know it's going to be awhile before he gets back," Falwell, Jr. said.
Thomas Road Baptist Executive Pastor Jason Schonfelder said he wants the community to pray not only for Pastor Falwell but everyone impacted.
"We knew our church family would want to rally and pray for him and Shari," Schonfelder said. "They're going to ride out the hurricane, they have no choice now."
"Around 4 o clock [Wednesday] morning, we started to communicate, the wind was picking up, they started to move everyone into a shelter," Schonfelder added. "Somewhere around 6:15 [Wednesday] morning, he texted the power had just gone out."
"I can't wait for them to get back, not just to see them and make sure they're safe, but hear all about this story," Falwell, Jr. said.
Schonfelder said he hopes Pastor Falwell can be back to this church by Sunday's service, but Falwell, Jr. said it may take a little longer for his parents to return.