Samaritan’s Purse Gives Keys to a Brand-New Home to Alabama Tornado Survivor

BOONE, N.C., Dec. 18, 2019

Just in Time for Christmas, Earnestine Reese, Who Became Famous for Her Prayer Closet, Is Welcomed Home

Despite losing everything in the deadly March tornadoes, Alabama homeowner, Earnestine Reese, thanked God. Her story made national headlines when the only room left standing was her prayer closet.

Nine months later, Reese is again thanking God. This time for her new home rebuilt by Samaritan’s Purse. On Friday, the N.C.-based organization will hand over the keys, welcoming her home for Christmas.

Earnestine Reese’s new home contains three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a safe room with concrete, steel-reinforced walls, but most importantly—a prayer closet.

“When Ms. Reese lost everything, she thanked God,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse. “As soon as I heard her story, I knew we had to help. Samaritan’s Purse is excited to welcome Ms. Reese home just in time for Christmas.”


Earnestine Reese Receives Keys to New Home


Friday, Dec. 20 at 2:00 p.m.


998 Lee Road 39
Opelika, AL 36804

Media Opportunities

  • Interview Earnestine Reese, homeowner who miraculously survived the storm
  • Interview Edward Graham, son of Franklin Graham
  • High-quality photos of Earnestine Reese's home in March available upon request
  • Photos and B-roll of Friday's dedication available upon request by 12/21
  • Video of Earnestine Reese’s daughter recounting her story

On-Site Media Contact

Kaitlyn Lahm,
+1 828.406.0365

Samaritan’s Purse responded to the violent tornadoes in March with disaster response specialists, heavy equipment and teams of volunteers. More than 1,400 volunteers helped 110 families by clearing debris, tarping roofs and searching for personal belongings. In addition to rebuilding Reese’s home, Samaritan’s Purse replaced thirteen manufactured homes and installed eleven storm shelters in Opelika, Alabama.

Based in Boone, North Carolina, Samaritan's Purse responds to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations—especially in locations where few others are working. Led by President and CEO Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution. For more information, visit