Pastor Paul Buford spoke to KSAT's Max Massey about the mass church shooting in Sutherland Springs that claimed the lives of at least 26 people and injured dozens more on Sunday morning.
Buford is the pastor of nearby River Oaks Church and said his service was underway when they began to receive calls about an "active shooter" at First Baptist Church.
Buford said some people in his congregation are first responders and were called to the scene.
He said others from congregations across the area brought food and water to first responders and residents.
According to Buford, the First Baptist Church pastor and his wife were not at Sunday's service. Buford said the community is grieving the loss of friends, family and loved ones.
“We’re just standing on the fact that all those that were in that church were believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the lord,” Buford said. “That’s the thing that is going to keep us strong is knowing in our faith, they are with their lord and savior right now.”
Buford declined to give more information about the victims. Sutherland Springs is located about 35 miles outside San Antonio.
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