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Worshippers mull fate of Sutherland Springs church

Debate of whether the old church is financially feasible and structurally sound is underway this week.

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — Members of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs will be voting an whether to take down the old church building where a gunman killed dozens of worshippers in 2017. 

The now-vacant church building is dwarfed by a newer place of worship.

“Life is not that certain,” said longtime Sutherland Springs resident Beulah Wilson.

While no longer a member of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Wilson cherishes the time she had with her family and friends praying at the original church.

“Lots of good memories, just precious, precious memories,” Wilson said.

One of those fond memories Wilson recalled was getting ready in the morning for Sunday service.

“But all the other kids, by the time I could get dressed, they were in church,” Wilson said

The church also evokes dark memories that struck the hearts of the Sutherland Springs community in 2017.

“Some of those people are still hurting. They still need prayers,” Wilson said.

The debate of whether to demolish the old church dates back before the 2017 shooting.

Wilson noted there are concerns about whether the church is structurally sound and if it’s financially feasible to maintain the building.

Regardless, Beulah noted she will be fine with whatever is decided by church members, some of whom are connected to shooting survivors and victims.

“I am completely at peace. There will always be a memorial the pastor said in that corner of some kind, lest we forget,” Wilson said.

First Baptist Church members will meet on Sunday to express their opinions about the future of the church.

On August 22, the vote of whether to take down the church for good will take place.

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