Grace Baptist Academy plans new location for the upcoming school year


HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – On April 12th, an EF-3 tornado ripped through parts of Hamilton County devastating many homes, businesses, and even schools.

Grace Baptist Academy on Shallowford Road was one of those schools.

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Pastor Adam Love says almost all of the 17 acre campus was destroyed. 

“I describe it as like almost a giant just kinda sat down on everything here. We have had several who have told us they have worked with insurance adjusters for years and say they have never seen metal twisted like what we have on our campus,” says Adam Love, Senior Pastor of GBA.

Officials tell News 12 pre-demolition started on Monday, this is where they clear out all debris and materials from the buildings to get ready for the actual demolition process. 

Grace Baptist Academy Senior Pastor, Adam Love says the official demolition starts June 8th and all but 2 of their 17 buildings must come down.

Pastor Love says it was pretty obvious that they wouldn’t be attending school on this campus come fall of 2020.

“The challenge then became ‘okay how do we get our students back in front of their teachers and have face to face learning again in a classroom.’ The tornado hit on Sunday and I would say by Wednesday we knew these buildings were not going to make it, even if we could salvage them, the start of the next school year was in jeopardy,” says Love. 

The new location for the school will be Morris Hill Baptist church, just a few miles away.

Pastor Love says the church can house all of their students and they have found temporary sites for all of their school sports for practice and play.


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Joeli Poole joined the WDEF News 12 Team in April 2019 as a Reporter and Producer. You can find her reporting during the week and when not on camera; she's producing the 6 and 11 shows. Joeli grew up with a love for reporting, starting in middle school. She has been the anchor for her middle and high school TV stations, along with the Sports Anchor for her College TV Station. Joeli grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and moved to Tennessee when she 10 years old. She went to Cleveland Middle school and Walker Valley High School. She graduated in May of 2019 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a bachelor's degree in Communications. Being from the area, Joeli loves being able to help tell the stories of her community. In her spare time, Joeli enjoys watching her LSU Tigers, hiking, and playing with her dog. Feel free to email any story ideas at