'Live in the spirit of victory:' Sutherland Springs pastor responds to El Paso massacre

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TexasThe First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs is sending words of encouragement and empowerment to the victims of the El Paso mass shooting almost two years after a mass shooting rocked its church.

“The primary thing we need to remember is that we need to lift them up,” Frank Pomeroy, the pastor of the church, said. “Though it is easy to see this situation through lens of hurt and pain and anger we that have been through this can testify to the fact that if you look up and out and beyond, you will heal faster and get up better, and you can lock arms with one another and lift one another to get through this trial.”

Pomeroy said what is mainly important is that people focus on the good in the situation rather than the bad.

“The thing that went through my mind when I saw the shooting was that this was another tragedy and another coward that decimated families and hurt people,” Pomeroy said. “And the thing that really ramped up is how quickly people are looking at the shooter rather than all of those what are doing good. We get caught up on the bad, guy but we forget about the good people, the church folks, counselors, physicians and more who are going to carry a lot of good into that situation.”

He said unfortunately, it is hard not to relive the situation when seeing mass shootings such as the one in El Paso.

“Every person deals with it differently,” Pomeroy said. “There is pain, and there is heartache, and the first couple of weeks, you are in such a surreal situation that you don’t know what is going on through your mind. It is then when they need people to come in and to love them and to let them know they are not alone.”

Pomeroy said things need to change in order to better prevent shootings like this from happened.

“We are blessed in a hemisphere,” Pomeroy said. “On the other side of the world, these acts have been going on a long time. This man, from what I see in the news reports, went in and took all of the innocent lives he did because he disagreed with the immigration policy. How sad is that that now those deaths were just political ploys for him? The more we step away from morality and teaching our young people to respect life and one another and look more to a self-centered and egocentric viewpoint in life, the more we are going to have these tragedies.”

He finally stressed that it is important that the victims live in victory rather than the spirit of fear as he asked those who want to help them to do so in love.

“I know that there are those out there that would say that prayers and support don’t mean anything, but to the people in the midst of the battle, they need to know that there are those who care,” Pomeroy said. “That is one way of showing that we care. That’s why I would ask all of America to do is to pray for them, go in there and be the hands and feet of grace and mercy.”

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