‘Inspired by resilience and faith': VP Pence leads in prayer at vigil for church shooting victims

Gov. Abbott proclaims Nov. 12 as day of prayer across state of Texas

By Adrian Garcia - Digital Journalist, Bill Barajas - Reporter

FLORESVILLE, Texas - Less than 15 miles away from the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Vice President Mike Pence led hundreds of community members in prayer, remembering those who lost their lives in Sunday’s mass shooting. 

Pence, along with his wife Karen Pence, and Gov. Greg Abbott, arrived at the Floresville High School stadium Wednesday night after visiting the survivors from the church shooting who are still hospitalized at Brooke Army Medical Center.

The vice president held back tears while on the podium sharing one of his many moments from BAMC with the people at the prayer service. 

“Walked into David Colbath’s hospital room … David’s recovering from serious injuries but he made time to have his men’s Bible study in his hospital room last (Tuesday) night,” Pence said. 

“David asked us if we’d pray with him before we left and I said, ‘We’d be honored.’ But I was not prepared when David bowed his head and prayed for us.” 

Pence said he and his wife were “inspired by the resilience and faith of the people we met, by the families that came around them.” 

Shortly after the church shooting that killed 26 people and left 20 others wounded, Pence tweeted, “Karen & I send prayers to victims & their families in TX. We grieve w/ you & stand w/ resolve against evil. Thank you to the first responders.”

Learn more about the Texas church shooting

Pence echoed that message Wednesday night, telling Texans not to be discouraged by the shooter’s evil that was displayed in the house of worship and the believers who were inside praying. 

“Whatever animated the evil that descended on that church last Sunday at the attacker’s desire to silence their testimony of faith, he failed,” Pence said. “The voice of faith, the witness of faith in that small church in that small town now echoes across the world.” 

Vice President Pence expressed the thoughts of many from across the nation, promising the community of Sutherland Springs that the American people will never leave their side as they recover from the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

Images: Remembering the church shooting victims

“I know the cherished names of the fallen will live on forever in the hearts of all who knew them, but let me assure you their names will also be enshrined in the hearts of every American," Pence said.

Gov. Abbott also shared words of encouragement before introducing the vice president, telling those affected by the tragedy to trust the man upstairs and never lose faith.

Follow Adrian on Twitter | Like Adrian on Facebook 

Follow Bill on Twitter | Like Bill on Facebook

“I think we can all agree that what has happened is simply not capable of explanation. Whenever things occur that are beyond explanation, there’s only one source that has the answers and that is God almighty,” Abbott said. 

Displaying a proclamation document to everyone, Gov. Abbott announced that this Sunday, Nov. 12, will be a day of prayer in the state of Texas.

agarcia@ksat.com 

Copyright 2017 by KSAT - All rights reserved.