The people of Hillcrest Church in McMinn County are counting their blessings.

"That's the only way we can explain that he was protected like that. We know that there is a God," explained church member Beth Morgan.

Morgan said one of their members lost his home in the EF-2 tornado that hit Athens overnight.

READ MORE | McMinn Co. officials provide update on aftermath of Athens tornado 

"His sister was inside the tub, and we don't even know where the tub is, and they both came out alive," said Morgan.

The congregation is now rallying around their own and the surrounding community.

Morgan spent the day making meals for local firefighters, many of whom haven't had a break after leaving home to help fight wildfires in Gatlinburg.

"How can we not go out there and try to meet the needs of others? How can we not?" asked Morgan. "God has blessed us. Our house didn't blow away."

Hillcrest Church is the midpoint between the devastation in Athens, and nearby Polk County, where two people were killed.

Their doors are open and acting as an emergency shelter, said Pastor Frank Clark. 

"Any utility workers, medic, fire, police, any victims. Just know that we can be a safe place for you, if you need a place to charge your phone or get a meal," Clark said.

"Anybody that is in need, or needs just to talk, or to pray, or just to eat," said Morgan. "Whatever we can do to help, we want to be a part of that."

Hillcrest Church is located on Hillcrest Circle off Highway 411 in Etowah.

There is also a Red Cross shelter set up at Keith Memorial UMC Church in Athens.