SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – People gathered in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Saturday morning for the opening of a new worship center and education building.
Saturday marked six months since the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church there that left 26 people dead. It is the deadliest shooting in an American place of worship in modern history.
Early Saturday morning, community members participated in a prayer walk honoring the victims, who ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years old, and survivors of the deadly rampage.
A groundbreaking and prayer service is slated for 11 a.m. on the new First Baptist Church Sutherland Springs. Rev. Frank Pomeroy said the new church will represent renewal, rebirth and evidence that love never fails.
The 250-seat worship center will be built on 2 acres of land next to the current church, which is serving as a memorial in honor of the victims and survivors.
The new church will have a bell tower, a light tower and plenty of windows, he said.
"This is going to represent new life. This is going to represent new growth," Pomeroy told KSAT 12 in March. "I believe that God is going to use the blood of those 26 martyrs and those survivors to bring forth revival into the land. Bring forth revival into Sutherland Springs, and I would say Wilson County and even into the state."
Phase One of the project is scheduled for completion in spring 2019.
Additional reporting by Courtney Friedman and Ben Spicer.