Saturday marked six months since 26 people were shot and killed at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Saturday also marked a new chapter for the community that’s still healing.
“The bullet went over my heart, hit the rib in front of my heart, and is still lodged in my side right now,” shooting survivor David Colbath said. “We're not sitting there whining and crying about ourselves. We're looking forward to the day where we can meet those 26 people. Do I want to admit I'm glad I'm alive? You better believe it, cause now I'm here to spread God's word.”
Survivors, like Colbath, along with neighbors, first responders, and lawmakers gathered at the site of where a new sanctuary will be constructed.
At the heart of Pastor Frank Pomeroy’s message: a reminder to put God at the center, honoring the lives lost and giving purpose to the new building.
“I hope that those who remember the tragedy will know that, out of the blood of the martyrs and the strength of the victims, survivors that are still here, that they rebuilt and are glorifying God.”
The groundbreaking also served as a time to honor the lives of those who died six months ago. The church bells tolled for each of the fallen.
Special music was also arranged for the ceremony. Music Director Kris Workman is a survivor of the shooting. A bullet to the spine left him paralyzed from the waist down.
“We relied on blessings and prayer from all over the place, and I think that was one of the biggest reasons for my fast recovery, was, everyone across the nation seemed to be praying for me and rooting for me,” Workman said.
Among the blessings, a new building, with the cost of construction being covered by donations and not a penny being pulled from the church or funds meant for the victims.