Jack Fink, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COMBy Jack Fink

WEST (CBSDFW.COM) – Members of the First Baptist Church in West held Sunday services in a field about a mile down from their normal sanctuary.

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Kyndal Tyra says, “You can worship God anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you are. I’m just happy because this is our family.  Our church is our family.”

No one has been allowed back at the First Baptist Church, which is still inside the police perimeter.

The church sustained damage during the explosion.

At the time, services were being held.

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Kyndal Tyra was helping with the youth service.  “Honestly, it felt like an earthquake.  It happened so rapidly.  Our main concern was just the kids.”

No one was hurt at the church.

Others here recalled their own close calls.

Whitney Carter says, “We’re just so thankful.”

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Carter says she and her 15 month old daughter Callie just walked out of their home’s living room into a hallway, when the blast destroyed much of everything around them.

“God put us right there because if we were still in the living room, there’s no windows, no ceilings, there’s not anything in the living room.  The hallway, we were safe.  We don’t have a scratch on us.”

Another West resident, Bettye Tucker says she too is counting her blessings.  “I’m ok, my husband’s ok, so I’m thankful, I’ll be thanking God for that.”

Tucker had just arrived home when the explosion rocked her house.  “The ceiling collapsed, the boom sounded, I was under sheet rock, debris and I got up, and I thought I’m ok, I’m ok.”

Over at St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Austin, Joe Vaswuez, presided over mass, and brought a message of condolence from Pope Francis.

They are thankful in West, for all the prayers that have come from  North, East, and South.

Whitney Carter says,”It’s overwhelming the amount of support and help that people have shown.”

Perhaps Father John Crowder at First Baptist Church spoke for everyone in town when he told his followers that “nothing is going to be like what we’re used to for a long time.”

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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