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Small-town Texas church where mass shooting occurred was center of community

By in Press Enterprise on November 5, 2017

By Sarah Batcha

By JIM VERTUNO, NOMAAN MERCHANT, and DIANA HEIDGERD, Associated Press

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — The most recent sermon posted on You Tube by the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, shows him explaining why he had parked a motorcycle in front of his lectern.

As he walked side to side on stage, Frank Pomeroy explained in the video posted Oct. 29 that he wanted to discuss having faith in forces that can’t be seen, be they gravity during a sharp turn or God.

RELATED: Man opens fire in Texas church, killing more than 20 people

“Just as leaning into a turn may not make sense, leaning into God is the way we should go, because God’s got it figured out, whether we do or not,” Pomeroy said.

The white wood-frame church where a gunman opened fire Sunday was at the center of life in Sutherland Springs, one of the hundreds of tiny towns that dot rural Texas. A week after the video was posted, one of those killed was Pomeroy’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle.

  • Law enforcement officials work at the scene of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (Photo by Nick Wagner, Austin American-Statesman via AP)

  • Carrie Matula embraces a woman after a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. Matula said she heard the shooting from the gas station where she works a block away. (Photo by Nick Wagner, Austin American-Statesman via AP)

    Carrie Matula embraces a woman after a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. Matula said she heard the shooting from the gas station where she works a block […]    

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