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'Faith and prayer are a very powerful tool' | Churches across the country honor Putnam Co. victims

Two-year-old Sawyer Kimberlin loved to sing "Holy, Holy, Holy." On Sunday, dozens of congregations sang it in his honor.

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — When 2-year-old Sawyer Kimberlin stepped into a church, he always looked for the songbook. 

His grandfather, Rodney Pitts, said Sawyer could always find "Holy, Holy, Holy." He'd memorized the way the song looked. After all, it was his favorite.

"He would turn to the pages to find it and he would want to sing it," Rodney Pitts told 10News. "He would want to hold that song book and lead singing for everybody to sing for him like like they did there during worship."

On March 3, an EF-4 tornado tore through Sawyer's Cookeville neighborhood. Sawyer and his parents, Josh and Erin Kimberlin, were three of the eighteen people killed.

"We are sad and we are devastated," Pitts said. "But, we're not broken because the Lord is showing us love."

On Sunday, dozens of congregations across the country showed their love too by singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" in Sawyer's honor. 

Here are stories from a handful of them.

Florence, Alabama

Hope Hutton Kachelman shared this video of Sawyer's song at Woodlawn Church of Christ in Florence, Ala. She said her church is hoping it brings comfort to family members in Tennesse.

"I truly believe healing comes through faith," Kachelman said. "Much love to all of you. We are praying so hard for all of you in Tennessee."

Greenwood, Arkansas

Zane Redmon shared this video from Northside Chruch of Christ in Greenwood, Ark. 

"A beautiful song, one of my personal favorites as well," he said. "Sawyer, buddy, this one is for you."

Stuart, Florida


Casey Frizzell Wood shared this video from the Stuart Church of Christ in Stuart, Fla. Her church was praying for all of the affected families, including the Kimberlins. 

Brazil, Indiana

Savannah Rose Arnold took this video at the Knightsville Church of Christ in Brazil, Ind. While she didn't know the family herself, Arnold said she is friends with family members who have been greatly impacted by their loss.

"It was a powerful moment during our service this morning," Arnold said. "It's been so amazing to see the reach of the song."

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Brittany Sexton said the Lehman Avenue Church of Christ in Bowling Green, Ky. wanted to show their support and love for the Putnam County community in any way they could.

"There wasn't a dry eye in the room this morning," Sexton said. "Our hearts and prayers are with you."

Warren, Michigan

Mary Beth Stewart Shirley shared this video from the North Warren Church of Christ in Warren, Mich. She said 

She said she is a “Yankee transplant” who lives in Cookeville, but has very precious relationships with her home congregation in Warren.

"They honored this precious request," Shirley said. "They are sending their love and fervent prayers."

Oregon, Ohio

Kayla Stutts took this video at Echo Meadows Church of Christ in Oregon, Ohio.

They sang "Holy, Holy, Holy" in honor of Sawyer Kimberline.

"Praying for you all," Stutts wrote.

Hobart, Oklahoma

LaJeanna White Hoyle said the Hobart Church of Christ explained the meaning of Sawyer's Song before they sang it in Hobart, Okla. 

"Singing is so soothing to the soul," Hoyle said. "Anything to help with healing is of benefit."

Cookeville, Tennessee

Aislynn Martin shared this video of "Holy, Holy, Holy" at First Baptist Church in Cookeville. 

Brush Prairie, Washington

Karen Johnson took this video at her church in Brush Prairie, Wash. She said the videos from around the United States touched her heart.

Her daughter's in-laws attended worship with the Kimberlins.

"Faith and prayer are a very powerful tool in the healing process even to those who never met this family," Johnson said. "I hope their families know how many hearts they have touched all across the U.S."

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