"God willing, we will play our first home game here on this field this season."
Ed Thomas stepped out in faith with this stunning prediction in the somber day after a massive F-5 tornado devastated his hometown of Parkersburg, Iowa. 34 seconds is all it took; the tornado sent Parkersburg reeling with the deaths of eight people and the destruction of 250 homes and businesses. They needed something to hope for, and their beloved high school football coach offered just that. One hundred days later, the home team scored a victory on the field they called 'The Sacred Acre.' However, just as the town was beginning to rebuild, another unbelievable tragedy struck. Ed Thomas was gunned down by a former student as he was coaching a group of athletes. What happened next, in this incredible true story provides a lesson in grace and forgiveness that the people of Parkersburg and the entire nation won't soon forget.
Format: Hardcover Number of Pages: 256 Vendor: Zondervan Publication Date: 2011
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches) ISBN: 0310332192 ISBN-13: 9780310332190 Availability: In Stock
After the citizens of Parkersburg, Iowa, survive a F-5 tornado that nearly destroys their entire town, they are stunned by the murder of their beloved football coach, Ed Thomas, at the hands of a former player. What happens next in this incredible true story provides a lesson in grace and forgiveness that inspired the entire country.
Mark Tabb has authored or coauthored more than twenty books including Mistaken Identity (Howard/Simon and amp; Schuster Books), which hit the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists the same week in April 2008.
Jan Thomas was married to Ed for 33 years and lives in Parkersburg, Iowa where their two sons, Aaron and Todd were born. She is the Deputy Clerk of Parkersburg and is volunteer chief on Parkersburg's Ambulance Service. Jan is an active member in the First Congregational Church.
Aaron Thomas is currently the athletic director, director of Student Services and head boys' basketball coach for Aplington-Parkersburg High School. In his "spare" time, he continues Ed's legacy of motivating people to do what's right through speaking engagements (Washington Speaker's Bureau). Aaron and his wife Ellie have three sons.
Todd Thomas is a financial strategy specialist with the firm Financial Architects. He is also the offensive coordinator for the Aplington-Parkersburg Falcon's football team. Married to Candace, they have one son. Todd claims the title of "best golfer in the family."
Mark Tabb has authored/coauthored more than 20 books including the New York Times No. 1 bestseller, Mistaken Identity, and A Promise to Ourselves (with Alec Baldwin). His solo titles include Living with Less: The Upside of Downsizing Your Life and How Can a Good God Let Bad Things Happen? He and his family live in a small town in Indiana where Mark also serves as a volunteer firefighter and fire department chaplain.
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 proved that even a double tragedy is no match for faith, love...and the power of forgiveness.