Sutherland Springs Sunday service only open to area community members

Updated Nov 10, 2017
  • By Johnathan Silver
  • Julie Chang
  • American-Statesman Staff
Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, join a news conference near the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Monday. A man opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing 26. The Pomeroy’s daugher, Annabelle, 14, was killed in the shooting. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

2:40 p.m. update: Sunday service at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs will be closed to media, according to a spokesman for the church.

The spokesman who did not want to be named told the American-Statesman that the small service is just for members left of the congregation and the Sutherland Springs commmunity and neighboring areas.

“The healing process is going to be ongoing and…services are a step in the right direction. I think it’s going to take a really long time and I don’t think the effects are going to go away any time soon,” he said.

Earlier: The First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs will hold a Sunday service one week after a gunman killed 26 parishioners and wounded 20 others.

“I know most of you have already heard, but just in case: we WILL be having worship service THIS SUNDAY morning at 11AM behind the community center in SUTHERLAND SPRINGS to show the world that we may be knocked down temporarily but WE ARE NOT DEFEATED,” Sherri Pomeroy, wife of Pastor Frank Pomeroy, said Thursday in a Facebook post. “Please come help us honor their lives doing what they died for: worshipping our sovereign God!”

The Pomeroys’ daughter, Annabelle, 14, was one of the 26 killed Sunday. Sherri Pomeroy said Monday that the church was a close-knit family.

“As senseless as this tragedy was, our sweet Belle would not have been able to deal with losing so much family yesterday,” she said.

Frank Pomeroy told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention this week that the church would be razed because it would be too painful for to continue using the building.

“There’s too many that do not want to go back there,” Pomeroy told The Wall Street Journal. “We will probably turn it into a memorial for a while. We’re playing it day by day.”