Texas Church Members Vote to Demolish Sanctuary Where 26 Died During Mass Shooting

(Eric Gay/AP)

Nearly four years after 26 people lost their lives during the horrific shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the building is reportedly slated for demolition.

Shooter Devin Patrick Kelley walked into the church on Nov. 5, 2017, and opened fire on the crowd during a Sunday morning worship service. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old.

According to News 4 in San Antonio, members of the congregation voted Sunday to raze the sanctuary after it was deemed structurally unsafe.

"Once you're in there, the beautiful white walls, the white ceiling, the white floor, the white chairs, the names on the chairs of everybody that they lost," said Terrie Smith, the president of the Sutherland Springs Community Association. "The single red rose, the beautiful big cross in the center. It gives you an embrace by everybody."

Smith added, "It's just a beautiful, peaceful place. Small, little church, small little community with a lot of humble people, and humbled angels that we lost."

TODAY: I spoke with members of the Sutherland Springs community and could hear the pain in their voices.

Church members voted 69 to 35 to level the structure. You may remember just a week after the shooting, the quaint building was transformed into a memorial for victims.

The church's sanctuary was converted into a memorial and a new church building was built next to it in 2019.

On opening day, Pastor Frank Pomeroy told the crowd they were celebrating God's glory while remembering "those who have paid a price for this incredible facility."

The church commemorated the victims by reading their names as the church bell rang, and those connected to them stood up in the crowd. Pomeroy's 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy, was among those killed.

The new worship center and memorial room honoring the victims were made possible through millions of dollars in donations from around the world. The facility features enhanced security elements, along with a new church bell tower and an additional prayer space.

For the rest of this story, visit our content partners at faithwire.com.

Follow breaking news like this on our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

To contact us or to submit an article, click here.

Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.

Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!

  • Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
  • Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
  • God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
  • Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
  • HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!

Subscription Special: Subscribe to Charisma for Only $24.97 and get a free gift. With your subscription, you'll receive Born For Significance by best-selling author Bill Johnson. View Offer

Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details

Charisma News - Informing believers with news from a Spirit-filled perspective