Storytelling Blog

Wetumpka Strong, January 2019 Tornado

Feb 25, 2019 2:13:26 PM / by Ashley Rhodes


first pres wetumpka 2019


Remember Leanna's brain surgery story? Her hometown church stepped in to support her when she needed it the most. Recently, this church was destroyed by a tornado that struck the small Alabama town of Wetumpka. Caleb Hawk, our Chief Storyteller, followed up with First Presbyterian Church after the tornado and found an inspiring story of hope in the face of trial. 

Want to know more about the storytelling process? Read this Q&A with Caleb!

  • How did you find out about this story and how it connects to the earlier story you told about Leanna's brain surgery? "When the tornado struck Wetumpka last month and destroyed First Presbyterian Church, I couldn't stop thinking about Leanna's story. I still had so much footage of her church from before it was destroyed. I couldn’t just sit on that footage - I knew the church’s story needed to be told."
  • What was your initial approach to telling this follow-up story? "I wanted to use the footage from the original video and also do a follow-up interview in the same location with the same pastor, showing the before and after. The results were really inspiring."
  • What did you learn from telling this follow-up story? "I learned that smaller communities, such as Wetumpka, rally together regardless of their background or religious differences when faced with a trial like this one." 
  • What do you hope to accomplish by telling this story, especially in light of Leanna's inspirational story and how it connects to this one? "I tried to use the pastor’s words to form a message of hope during a “storm.” Just like Leanna's story with this same church, this story gives viewers hope when they may think there is none." 
  • Why do you think follow-up stories are important in the video storytelling process? "Follow-up stories are important because they give your followers something more. It’s crucial when telling a follow-up story on social media that you don’t leave newcomers in the dark, meaning that the follow-up story either needs to stand on it’s own and make sense without the original video. You can also use a quick summary of the original video to catch new viewers up." 




Topics: storytelling, video

Ashley Rhodes

Written by Ashley Rhodes