Texas church opens new sanctuary 18 months after massacre

Religion News Service | 5/20/2019 | Staff
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SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A South Texas church began a fresh chapter of worship on Sunday as it unveiled a new sanctuary a year and a half after a gunman opened fire and killed more than two dozen congregants in the deadliest mass shooting in state history.

Parishioners, elected leaders and relatives of those killed or injured at the First Baptist Church in the tiny town of Sutherland Springs gathered at the new sanctuary for its dedication. Some among the hundreds in attendance wore royal blue shirts with “#evildidnotwin” written across the back.

Sanctuary - Glass - Panel - Pastor - Frank

In the large, white sanctuary amid a stained glass panel, Pastor Frank Pomeroy told the crowd they were celebrating God’s glory while remembering “those who have paid a price for this incredible facility.”

The church commemorated the victims by reading their names as the church bell rang, and those connected to them stood up in the crowd. Pomeroy’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy, was among those killed.

Gov - Greg - Abbott - Worshippers - Time

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott told the worshippers that despite the trying time since the attack, Sunday marked another giant step forward on a path to healing and recovery.

“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,” Abbott said to loud applause from the crowd.

Worship - Center - Room - Victims - Millions

The new worship center and memorial room honoring the victims were made possible through millions of dollars in donations from around the world. The facility features enhanced security elements, along with a new church bell tower and an...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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