Pastor Frank Pomeroy of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, delivered a message of hope as he bravely stood before attendees of a service on Sunday, held just one week after a gunman killed 26 members of his congregation.
Those who gathered with the survivors and their families in mourning and worship sang “Amazing Grace,” but it was Pomeroy’s stirring message in the midst of so much uncertainty that truly resonated, The New York Times reported.
The brave preacher, who lost his 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle, nearly broke down at moments during his sermon, though he carried on with a heartfelt message of hope in the wake of unimaginable grief.
Pomeroy specifically encouraged the congregation to choose light in the midst of the darkness, and implored people to forge on in their faith despite the horrific, life-changing event, as CNN reported.
“We have the power to choose, and, rather than choose darkness, like that young man did that day, I say we choose life,” he said to around 500 people who gathered to worship in a tent on a small baseball field just blocks away from the church.
Pomeroy became emotional as he told the crowd that the dead, including his daughter, are now “dancing with Jesus” after their lives tragically and abruptly ended.
“I know everyone who lost their life that day, some of which were my best friends, and my daughter,” he said. “And I guarantee without any shadow of a doubt they are dancing with Jesus today. God gets the glory.”
Pomeroy asked the congregation not to turn back because of the horrific wound that was inflicted and to instead carry on in faith and love.
“I say, do not allow the lives that have been lost or changed to be in vain,” he added.
The service ended with a choir singing “I Surrender, Lord,” while parishioners and visitors lined up to hug Pomeroy, according to The New York Times.