Last Thursday’s tornado that hit Vermeer Corporation isn’t the first time a twister has come through the area – Just over 54 years ago, an EF2 tornado struck Pella. traveling through the eastern edge of town. Oddly enough, the path went through the area where the Vermeer headquarters now sit, though in 1964 Vermeer did not occupy the space. The path of the 1964 tornado went mostly through rural areas and little damage from the F2 storm occured in the Tulip City.
Pastor James Tower blends his passion for ministry and his skill as a blacksmith into a mission he calls Forgiven Forge. Formerly a youth pastor, Tower now serves as the pastor at College Avenue Friends Church in Oskaloosa, his first job as head pastor. Before becoming a minister Tower was a sheet metal worker, using his skills with two-dimensional metal in construction work for twelve years. After graduating from seminary he began looking for a creative outlet to help with his struggles with PTSD; He started a group at the church and named it Forgiven Forge with the idea of blending ministry with the blacksmithing. There is no cost to attend either group meetings called “Hammer-Ins.” The second Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. you can join Pastor Tower at his workshop located at 910 North C Street. This group uses a combination of older and more modern techniques.