Southern Baptists Offered to Pay for Church Victim Funerals

By Billy Hathorn (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
By Billy Hathorn (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
A church attack on Sunday at First Baptist in Sutherland Springs, Texas left 26 people dead.

The North American Mission Board, on behalf of the Southern Baptist Convention, has offered to pay for the funeral expenses[\tweetit] of all 26 people killed in the recent First Baptist church attack in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Southern Baptists Offered to Pay for Church Victim Funerals[/tweetthis]

The attacked church is a member of the Southern Baptist convention, the largest Baptist denomination in the world as well as the United State’s largest Christian denomination other than Catholic. On November 5, Sunday, a gunman opened fire at the church while services were going on, killing 26 people and injuring 20 others. Among those whose lives were lost were Bryan Holcombe, who was supposed to deliver next Sunday’s sermon, and seven other members of his family, as well as 14-year-old Annabelle, daughter of First Baptist Pastor Frank Pomeroy and wife Sherri. The pastor and his wife were out of town during the shooting.

Many groups and individuals have donated and offered their assistance since the shooting. The Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund will distribute $6,500 for each victim to cover funeral expenses. On top of this, Audrey Louis, Wilson County District Attorney said that one company that has offered to donate their caskets to all of the victims, and that the community is deeply grateful for that person and their service.

Since Sunday, Southern Baptist pastors, as well as field personnel have been providing grief counseling services to families of the victims. President of Southern Baptist Convention, Steve Gaines and Executive Committee President, Frank S. Page also arrived in Sutherland Springs on November 7, to offer their condolences and “show their love.” Members of the church say that despite the tragedy that has struck their close-knit community, they have seen “God at work.”

Pastor Pomeroy, in a news conference the day after the shooting, was quoted saying, “Christ is the one who’s going to be lifted up. That’s what I’m telling everybody. You lean into what you don’t understand. You lean into the Lord … Whatever life brings to you, lean on the Lord rather than your own understanding. I don’t understand, but I know my God does. And that’s where I’ll leave that.”

Pomeroy’s wife, Sherri also said that as much as they suffer the loss of their daughter, they do not wish to overshadow all the other twenty-five souls lost that day. She added, “One thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact Belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family that she loved fiercely, and vice versa.”


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