Hundreds of worshipers gathered at a basketball field in Texas amid spitting rain and heavy clouds to worship with the First Baptist Church survivors on Sunday. The pastor of the church delivered the sermon. Frank Pomeroy told his followers that the power of light will always overcome the power of darkness. He said this as he fought back tears. He lost his 14-year-old daughter during the attack. His daughter was known as Annabelle R. Pomeroy. This marked the first time that the church opened since it was attacked by a masked gunman who was identified as Devin P. Kelley. The attack that lasted for over seven minutes resulted in the death of 26 people including several children and a pregnant woman. While the church remained closed during the morning hours, parishioners and guests were ushered at a white tent that had been located on the basketball field. However, the church was opened for the evening service which was a memorial. While the pews of the church were gone, the walls had fresh paint. Folding chairs were then placed in the areas where the victims are believed to have sat when the shooting happened. On their chairs were red roses that had chiffon ribbons. The names of the victims were then painted on the chairs using gold paint.
It’s been a difficult week for the community of few that is located southeast of San Antonio. It’s a week that has been characterized by shared grief, tearful gatherings as well as funerals. The congregants sang Amazing Grace as they found comfort in the words of the pastor that darkness will not prevail over light. The pastor when speaking to news reporters reminded Americans that their country was attacked during the weekend. He reminded the people of Texas that their state had been attacked. The people of God had been attacked. The pastor also made a reference to the veteran day. He said that he was grateful to the servicemen who had given their lives so that freedom could prevail. As the summon came to an end, the choir started singing, I Surrender, Lord as the members hug their pastor one by one. A UPS worker who had made a living delivering packages for the people of this region said that he was glad that so many people had gathered in the area despite the tragedy. The man who was identified as John Barnhill said that the devil couldn’t beat the people of Texas.