Texas town holds 1st Sunday service since church attack
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.