Last weekend, a gunman walked into a church and senselessly killed 26 people, including the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter.
Now Pastor Frank Pomeroy says that the church will not be reopened. He said, “There’s too many that do not want to go back in there,” he added, “We will probably turn it into a memorial for a while. We’re playing it day by day right now.”
Pomeroy stated that there will be a service on Sunday for the church members at a local community center.
When asked about demolition he said, “I want to get through all the funerals before I do anything.”
However, many sources are now reporting that the church is, in fact, to be demolished.
Frank Pomeroy told convention leaders that conducting services at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs would be too painful following Sunday’s massacre, convention spokesman Roger Oldham told USA TODAY.
“The pastor expressed his desire that perhaps the best way forward is to have the church demolished and replaced with a prayer garden,” Oldham said. “But the church hasn’t really had a chance to fully deal with the grief and then come together to make a decision.”
Oldham said First Baptist had about 100 members before Devin Kelley’s rampage that wounded an additional 20 people in the small, white clapboard church. Pomeroy hopes to build another church on the property, Oldham said.
The president of the convention’s executive committee, Frank Page, was in Sutherland Springs for two days this week ministering to Pomeroy and his parishioners. The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention website list specific prayer requests for the church, along with links for financial donations.
The gunman’s father, Michael Kelley, spoke out on behalf of their family and said that they are grieving with the community. However, he stated that he doesn’t want to discuss anything that happened.
Kelley did say though, “I don’t want our lives, our grandchildren’s lives, destroyed by this media circus.”