A gunman killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church on November 5.
The Sutherland Springs' First Baptist Church reopened on November 12 , a week after it witnessed one of the most lethal mass shooting events to take place in recent Texas history. The gunman used a semiautomatic rifle to slaughter 26 people on November 5. He also wounded 20 others. An armed civilian opened fire in defense when he was exiting the church. He subsequently escaped in an SUV. His body was later found with a gunshot wound. Law enforcement authorities believe that the gunshot was a self-inflicted one.
The memorial event saw a church floor bereft of pews. Instead of the usual rows of them, there were a total of 26 handcrafted chairs placed in the locations where the victims were shot. Every chair had a name inscribed on its backrest. A red rose was placed on each chair. The loudspeaker played the scriptures read by church staff. The full scene recreated a tragic surrounding into a tribute to people who lost lives.
The 500 seats present in the temporary sanctuary were filled by attendees. Many stood during the service. The audience faced a small podium for speakers. The latter included Senator John Cornyn of Texas. There was a wooden cross robed in white lights for the occasion. These numbers are far more than the usual few dozen attendees. Hymns were sung by a worship band within the white painted confines of the church. The memorial service saw more attendees compared to the town population. According to Cornyn, the people of the town are of deep faith. He said that faith sustains the victims and provides them hope-even during bad times like the present.
— William Davis (@davis1988will) November 13, 2017
Reverend Frank Pomeroy, the pastor of the First Baptist church, declared at the Sunday service that everyone who will attend the church will know people killed at the church had lived for Lord and Savior. Pomeroy broke down while giving a speech to his audience. Among Kelley's victims was Annabelle, his daughter. She was 14 years old. The pastor and his wife were away from the town when the incident took place. He said that those killed are in heaven at the present.
People from all over the United States traveled to Sutherland Springs' to show support for the town community. The Texas town has about 600 residents.