At least 26 people were killed yesterday, and many more injured, in the deadliest church shooting in American history at a small church in Sutherland Springs, just outside San Antonio, Texas.
According to CBN News, a gunman entered First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas about 11:20 a.m. local time and opened fire on those gathered for Sunday worship.
The victims included children as well as elderly members of the congregation. The church’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy, lost his 14-year-old daughter.
Police have identified the suspect as 26-year-old Devin Kelley. Kelley reportedly fled the church after a local resident attempted to fight back. He was found dead in his vehicle after crashing it near the county line.”
This, on the heels of the horrific Las Vegas shooting last month, and recent New York City attack, has left many rattled and shaken. People from around the globe have shown huge support for those hurting and experiencing great loss, and Christian leaders are offering comfort and prayers for all. This may also cause many churches, large and small, to now take a closer look at security within their congregations.
Franklin Graham said yesterday, “My heart is heavy for the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas, who have lost more than 20 of their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents, and friends today in this senseless act of brutality–and some 20 more were wounded. My prayers are with this community and church.”
Author and speaker Beth Mooretweeted, “Let heaven hear prayers of the saints resound for every life touched by this tragedy,” and “It is sacred to weep for those in Christ we have never met. They are our very own. Our flesh. Our bone. Our people. We share the same blood.”
A statement from Pastor John Hagee, pastor of nearby Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, read:
“There are no words that can sufficiently describe the anguish and heartache we feel for our brothers and sisters in Christ of First Baptist Church in Southerland Springs. May the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob supernaturally comfort those who are mourning the loss of those they love and may His healing touch restore the injured to full recovery.”
Dr. Tony Evans tweeted, “Our hearts and prayers break for those in #SutherlandSprings May God give a peace beyond understanding to all affected.”
Anne Graham Lotz writes these words and scriptures on her Facebook page, “Praying for Sutherland Springs: The Lord says “As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; and you will be comforted…” Is 66:13
“Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people. Jeremiah 9:1”
Max Lucado, author and Senior Minister of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, writes, “Oak Hills sends earnest prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church shooting. May the Prince of Peace bring help and hope. And May the devil, the source of all evil, meet a soon and certain demise.”
In a Facebook live video, Max Lucado goes on to share comforting and powerful words of truth, “Let it be said, as we are offering prayers for these who are hurting so deeply, let it be said that the source of this evil is the devil. The devil. Let the source of this evil be disclosed, let the curtain be pulled back…Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and powers of this present darkness…the devil’s days are numbered, his days are short.” He goes on to share the hope we can have in Christ, the coming restoration, and the reminder that the enemy was already defeated by Jesus on the cross. He offers prayers and encouragement for the people of South Texas and Sutherland Springs and that “Jesus Christ our King would soon bring rescue to His people.”
Amen. Though we know that evil lurks among us on this earth, in the end, the enemy will not win. He may wage war now, and take many captive under his demonic influence, but he cannot stand victorious over Christ our King. Not ever. God is greater. His Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it. May we keep this dear community of people close in our prayers, and may believers everywhere stand together and worship our Lord. That’s where we can find peace, healing, and power for these days.
Photo: Law enforcement officials continue their investigation at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs as the sun begins to rise on November 6, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Yesterday a gunman, Devin Patrick Kelly, killed 26 people at the church and wounded many more when he opened fire during a Sunday service.