Church is a place where the Sutherland Springs community came together. For now, the hill near the baseball field is a place for the community to gather, pray, think, and say goodbye.
Crosses line the top of the hill, honoring those who died at the church.
“They were all family,” said Rod Green, a member of the First Baptist Church since 2002.
Green and his wife Judy got married at the church in 2006. It’s their home.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Judy about the loss of so many church members.
“I have unwavering belief in God,” Rod said. “I believe he won’t let something go and not make good of it. There is a purpose. We don’t understand it. We never will. I just believe and trust him.”
The Greens say that there is a reason they couldn’t make it to church on Sunday, a rare miss for the past 15 years.
“I call it divine intervention,” Rod said.
The couple had to run an errand and didn’t make the Sunday services.
“There is more work for us to do and we just weren’t supposed to be there at that time,” he said.
Their reason, their motivation for moving forward, is the community that needs them.
“We’ve been running food for the food pantry, which we are going to be open Friday and Lou [White] was one of our three who ran the place. We’re still going to open to serve the community,” he said.
Lou White was one of 26 who died in the shooting. Rod and Judy say that she’ll be there with them Friday.
“Those people depend up on us. Most of them are not members of our church at all, but they are needy. And that’s what we’re here to do, is to serve them,” Rod said. “That’s what God put us here for, so we’re going to do it.”
That is their purpose, to be there for each other, because no one should be alone at a time like this.
“The people that come will want to come and express their sorrow, so they can deal with reality too so they can express their feelings,” Rod said.
Rod also said that the church will continue its worship and services will be held Sunday at 11 a.m., behind the community center.