When staffers combed the campus, sifting through the damage, they said they saw a stunning scene: An open Bible on the pulpit of the campus church, undisturbed by the surrounding debris.
The open page from Psalm 46, the staffers said, read: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Rick Wilemon, an adjunct art instructor at the private Christian college, snapped some photos of the Bible as it was found in the otherwise-damaged Bass Chapel after the EF-3 tornado hit Hattiesburg.
"No building was left untouched," Wilemon told CNN. "So many appear to be total losses."
Wilemon said the Bible was a fixture in the chapel. And the condition it was found in has bolstered the spirits of the campus -- and beyond.
"It is remarkable that something so inspiring to our community is also inspiring to the nation," Wilemon said.