Texas town holds 1st Sun­day ser­vice since church at­tack

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - PAGE TWO -

SUTHER­LAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — Hun­dreds of mourn­ers crowded into the tiny town of Suther­land Springs for the first Sun­day ser­vice since a gun­man stormed the First Bap­tist Church a week ear­lier, killing more than two dozen peo­ple in the worst mass shoot­ing in Texas his­tory.

In a ser­vice that was emo­tional and painful but also up­lift­ing, Pas­tor Frank Pomeroy shared his per­sonal heartache and a mes­sage that the com­mu­nity bound to­gether by faith can move past the evil that at­tacked the church seven days ear­lier.

“Rather than choose dark­ness as that young man did that day, we choose life,” said Pomeroy, whose 14-yearold daugh­ter, Annabelle, was among those killed in the Nov. 5 ram­page. His voice cracked as he spoke about los­ing his child.

“I know ev­ery­one who gave their life that day,” he said, paus­ing to gather him­self. “Some of whom were my best friends and my daugh­ter.”

He wiped his eyes, then added, “I guar­an­tee they are danc­ing with Je­sus to­day.”

Ini­tially, the church had planned to hold Sun­day’s ser­vice at an ad­ja­cent com­mu­nity cen­ter, which can ac­com­mo­date a few dozen peo­ple.

But when or­ga­niz­ers re­al­ized hun­dreds planned to at­tend, the ser­vice was moved to a mas­sive white tent erected in a base­ball field.

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