LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Houses of worship that encountered damage from the devastating March 31 tornadoes that hit the Natural State may now be eligible for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Grants issued through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program may help nonprofit religious facilities cover costs to repair or replace facilities damaged by storms in Cross, Lonoke and Pulaski counties.

According to FEMA, facilities that are eligible include churches, synagogues, mosques, temples or other houses of worship without regard to the religious character of the facility.

FEMA rules say that no religious facility or house of worship may be excluded from this definition because leadership or membership in the organization is limited to persons who share a religious faith or practice.

To be an eligible applicant, a house of worship must meet the following criteria:

  • Be owned or operated by a private nonprofit organization.
  • The facility must be open to the public.
  • Have been damaged by the March 31 severe storms and tornadoes.
  • Have either not received funding or received insufficient funding after applying for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan to repair or replace a facility.
  • The application must include state and/or U.S. Internal Revenue Service documentation of tax-exempt status, pre-disaster charter and other documentation.

Applicants can apply online and receive additional disaster assistance information at