Family spared in Texas church shooting remembers those lost

26 crosses set up across street from First Baptist Church

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – Twenty-six crosses representing the 26 lives lost during the church shooting in Sutherland Springs were placed across the street from First Baptist Church.

The grief in Sutherland Springs is still palpable after the deadly shooting Sunday, especially for people such as the Green family who knew every family affected.

The Greens said everyone at the church was like family.

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Twenty-six white crosses line a field, pushed and pulled by the relentless wind, but they don’t fall. Rod and Judy Green are, too, trying to stand strong, even when everything around them is falling apart.

The Greens are on a small list of members who didn’t show up to church Sunday.

“We're here every Sunday, but I believe because of divine intervention, I had an errand to run first,” Rod Green said.

After 15 years praying and running the food pantry, the church has become a home to the Greens.

“We've seen little Noah, who was 18 months old. We've seen her since she was a baby,” Judy Green said.


Rod Green was especially close with the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy.

“She’s been our little baby. We all raised her in the church. She's been special. She's been my girl,” Rod Green said.

“I know Annabelle loved roses and purple and I don't have words for my loss for her, loss for everyone. I just wanted to put something out to have their memory with me,” Judy Green said.

The flowers and gifts at the memorial aren’t just from people in Sutherland Springs. The love and encouragement is what keeps the Greens going.

“We are not going to let evil interrupt our faith. We will not bow down to it,” Rod Green said.

The Greens have talked to the pastor and decided to hold a church service on Sunday behind the community center. If the crime scene is cleared, they will open the church food pantry back up on Friday.

The Greens said a sense of normalcy will help them heal.

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About the Author:

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.