God’s Pit Crew builds new homes for tornado survivors

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CENTRAL CITY, Ky. — More than five months after a deadly tornado hit western Kentucky, one organization continues to give back.


What do you want to know

  • Western Kentucky family gets keys to new home
  • The mother-of-two broke several bones and suffered other injuries. The tornado killed Autumn’s husband, Jon
  • About 75 volunteers built their newly furnished home in just 18 days
  • God’s Pit Crew plans to return to Dawson Springs and Marshall County to build two homes for other families

A Kentucky widow who lost her home and her husband in the tornado has been given the keys to her new home that she will call home for years to come.

Storms on December 10, 2021 left many homes completely demolished, but on Friday Autumn’s prayers were answered after she received the keys to her new home.

“It’s just a place where we can feel safe, a place where I can raise my kids, a place where we can be together and make new memories,” the Bremen, KY native says.

Autumn not only lost her home, but also her husband Jon in the storm.

The now-single mother-of-two’s new home in Central City will house years of memories just waiting to happen thanks to God’s Pit Crew, a faith-based nonprofit in Virginia.

“It’s really bittersweet to know that I was walking through the door of a new home that is for me and my kids, but having to walk through it without my husband is a bit difficult, but it’s exciting,” says Autumn.

About 75 volunteers built their newly furnished house in just 18 days.

Overwhelmed with emotion, crossing for the first time, Autumn was at a loss for words except two: thank you.

“I know it’s something he loved and he loves knowing that we’re being taken care of and someone did that for us,” Autumn adds.

Built by prayer, Randy Johnson, founder and president of God’s Pit Crew, says it’s a labor of nothing but the love of everyone involved.

“We want to restore hope. I mean, it’s as simple as that. We just want to be a light and make a difference in the world we live in,” says Johnson.

The 59-year-old father of five says it marks another milestone in the recovery in western Kentucky as another God’s Pit Crew home goes up.

“We make these commitments by faith without having the funds to make them and some may say, ‘Well, that’s crazy.’ It’s been 52 times now that we’ve made these religious commitments,” Johnson said.

Although Johnson knows the nonprofit cannot restore the family, Johnson says they are here to try.

“We told Autumn after our first interview that obviously we can’t give you back everything you’ve lost, but hopefully we can give you hope for a fresh start for the future,” adds Johnson. .

Relying on her faith, she looks back on precious moments and finds the strength to move forward.

“You take absolutely nothing for granted. You enjoy every moment you can with your family because you don’t know when you’re going to lose them,” says Autumn.

God’s Pit Crew plans to return to Dawson Springs and Marshall County in August to build two homes for other families affected by December’s tornadoes.


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