Plans are being finalized for the construction of a new Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas that will replace the building that was the site of a horrific mass shooting back in November. Twenty-seven people were shot dead when a gunman entered the small Texas Church and opened fire indiscriminately. Now, months after the tragedy, plans are being made for the construction of a new worship facility.
“Just as God was resurrected and brought back, he’s bringing Sutherland Springs back,” said Frank Pomeroy, the pastor at the church, as the $3 million project was announced. The project is being led by the North American Mission Board, which supports Southern Baptist churches across the world. The Church’s current sanctuary has been turned into a permanent memorial, honoring the victims of the senseless attack.
Pomeroy and his wife Sherri lost their daughter Annabelle in the shooting. Now, the couple is helping designers create a new church building that will honor the legacy of those faith-filled individuals who lost their lives on that fateful day.
“The bell is coming over from the old building and the children – a lot of which we do not have with us anymore, our daughter included – their favorite thing on Sunday morning after Sunday school would be to rush to the bell and see who could get there first and ring it,” Sherri explained.
The project will be funded by private donations and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2019, with groundbreaking commencing on May 5, the six-month anniversary of the shooting. The Church had seen a dramatic increase in numbers since the November 5. shooting. But these aren’t just one-time visitors. Pomeroy noted that conversions and baptisms have also “increasing exponentially.”
At a press conference announcing the construction plans, Pastor Pomeroy gave a stirring speech about the vision behind the new facility.
“God is going to use the blood of those 26 martyrs and those survivors to bring forth revival into the land,” Pomeroy said, as reported by Dallas News. “Any time the church was persecuted, then God backed that up with a magnification or a multiplication of his people.”
“This is going to represent new life,” he said of the new building project. “This is going to represent new growth.”
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those that build it labor in vain,” Frank continued, quoting Psalm 127. “I believe it will be a beacon on a hill. It would be no more than a pretty building if God’s blessing was not upon it.”
“It’s God who gets the glory here tonight,” Pastor Frank added.
LIVE: First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs' Pastor Frank Pomeroy will share news about a new construction project for their church.
Posted by KSAT 12 & KSAT.com on Tuesday, March 27, 2018
“God is gonna bless beyond measure. God is gonna honor the sacrifice those who laid down their lives for him.”
And for the skeptics who think a 250 seat facility is excessive for such a small church community, Pastor Frank has one simple message: “We serve a great God.”
“Every day is a day closer to a revival I believe God is gonna bring forth in Sutherland Springs,” Frank added. His hope for the new building is that it will be a sanctuary of hope and a place of heartfelt worship.
“This is gonna be a gathering place for the hurting and the broken,” Frank said of the new building. “The community should gather there. The central focal point will be God Almighty.”
“This building is going to represent, not what the world talks about, the hate and the ugliness, but what Paul taught – he said ‘love never fails.’ That’s what this building represents, guys,” Pomeroy continued in his powerful address. “This building represents those who come together and allow God to move in their lives to build them up, not tear each other down. This is to bring a community together; healed, binded together and walking in one accord.”
“We’re coming together to lift up the one who knows it all – Jesus Christ. This is all being choreographed by an Almighty God to bring glory back to himself,” Frank concluded.