The Sacred Acre: The Ed Thomas Story
By Mark Tabb
On a Sunday in May 2008, an F-5 tornado struck the town of Parkersburg, Iowa, killing eight people and destroying 250 homes and businesses within 34 seconds. The next day, Parkersburg s beloved football coach, Ed Thomas, made a stunning prediction: God willing, we will play our first home game here on this field this season. One hundred days later, the home team scored a victory on the field they dubbed The Sacred Acre, serving as a galvanizing point for the town to band together and rebuild. But just as Parkersburg was recovering, another devastating tragedy struck. While working with a group of football and volleyball players early one morning, one of Ed s former students walked in and gunned him down point blank. Ed Thomas was 58. The murder of this hometown hero spread across national news headlines. Ed s community and family reeled from shock. Yet the story doesn t end here. What happened next proves that even a double tragedy is no match for faith, love and the power of forgiveness."
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