SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — A well-known Memphis pastor and his wife are in Texas to comfort those affected by the mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.
Pastor Steve Gaines of Bellevue Baptist Church traveled to Sutherland Springs Tuesday afternoon to meet Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, whose 14-year-old daughter was killed during the shooting at the church where Pomeroy ministers.
“There are times that they will tear up and yet there are times when they just laugh a little bit,” said Pastor Gaines.
“I said, ‘Pastor Pomeroy, one thing I want you to do is write down good things you’re seeing,’ said Frank Page, CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. “Some day you’ll come back and see that you wrote down how God brought good out of bad.”
The Pomeroys, the Gaines and Page read scriptures and then shared a meal. Pastor Pomeroy even led them in a prayer.
“One of the scriptures that we did share was out of proverbs,” said Pastor Gaines. “Lean not on your own understanding, but in all of your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.”
Paths that are directing the Pomeroy’s and the town of Sutherland Springs to a place of healing.
The bullet-riddled church will rebuild. An anonymous donor has pledged the money to do so.
The Southern Baptist Convention meanwhile is paying for the funerals of all 26 killed.
“This church is gonna be healing a long time,” said Gaines. “But I really believe that the latter glory of this church will be greater than the former.”
Perhaps there is no greater testament to that glory than a grieving parent’s resilience.
“He is Texan. You gotta understand there is Texas strong and he is that,” said Pastor Gaines.
Gaines, who is president of the Southern Baptist Church, tells me he will be here for the next few days providing support to anyone who needs it.
He plans to hold a service tomorrow in Floresville, TX, and Vice President Mike Pence will be in attendance.