First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs Holds First Services at New Sanctuary Since Mass Shooting 18 Months Ago

The new facility of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The congregation opened the new worship space on Sunday, May 19, 2019. | Twitter/NAMB

A small Texas church that garnered national headlines in 2017 when a shooter opened fire on the congregation officially opened their new sanctuary.

First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs held their first services on Sunday at their new worship facility, with elected officials including Governor Greg Abbott giving remarks.

“This is a tangible sign as people drive through Sutherland Springs in the future they will know that this is a place where goodness triumphed over evil,” stated Gov. Abbott, as reported by The Associated Press.

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There were two services on Sunday, a 9:00 AM service centered on thanking God for “the provision of the building and land” and an 11:00 AM service meant to “honor the victims, victims’ families, survivors, donors, and the community of Sutherland Springs,” according to a May 8 post on the church’s Facebook page.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy, the leader of the church whose 14-year-old daughter was among the murdered, explained to the AP that the church now had a “safety response team” as part of their increased security.

“We don’t want to look like a fortress, but also wanted to make sure that everybody could feel safe on the inside,” said Pomeroy to the AP.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board, which helped fundraise for the new building, took to social media to offer their support for the opening.

“Pray for the members of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs this morning as they dedicate their new worship facility. Thank you Southern Baptists for making this possible,” tweeted NAMB.  

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski

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