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Pence: Church attacker failed to silence the testimony of faith

by Leigh Jones
Posted 11/09/17, 12:21 pm

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared Nov. 12 a statewide day of prayer for the victims of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. Vice President Mike Pence joined Abbott at a memorial service Wednesday night after visiting with hospitalized victims in San Antonio and with survivors and relatives in nearby Floresville. “Whatever animated the evil that descended on that small church, if the attacker’s desire was to silence their testimony of faith, they failed,” Pence said, calling the gunman “deranged.” During his meeting with survivors, Pence told one man, “The whole country is praying over you.” He also talked with John Holcombe, who lost his wife, unborn child, parents, a brother, a niece, and three stepchildren in the attack. Pence stopped to hug Holcombe's stepdaughter, 7-year-old Evelyn Hill, who survived by running out of the church while bullets flew around her. FBI agents are still trying to unlock the gunman’s iPhone, and representatives from Apple have offered to help. Meanwhile, investigators have reviewed video of the shooting captured by cameras set up to record the worship service. The video is consistent with what survivors recounted, including the gunman targeting children and shooting victims in the head. Twenty-six people died in the attack and 11 of the 20 wounded remain hospitalized. According to the Southern Baptist Convention, Pastor Frank Pomeroy plans to demolish the building where the attack occured.

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Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.

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  • PaulC
    Posted: Thu, 11/09/2017 09:03 pm

    Is demolishing the church building where the shooting happened really a good idea?  Would it not be a testimony to the power of the gospel to continue to proclaim the good news of Christ in the same place where hatred for Christ and his followers was shown?     I am thankful that Apple's representatives are willing to help police unlock the phone in this case, and it would seem that by doing so, they are not needing to give up their locking secrets or compromise the privacy of other people's phone data.  

  • K Scott
    Posted: Mon, 11/13/2017 02:11 pm

    I pray this will help anyone who is struggling with who God is in the midst of these terrible circumstances. 


    1. God knows the heartache of losing a child. His only son was brutally murdered. He cries with us and shares in our sorrow.

    2. This was not God's will. Murder is a sinful act, an act against God's will. "You shall not murder." -God

    3. God did not take these children’s lives. But, He did receive them.

    4. God gives each one of us the freedom to choose either good or evil. Sometimes, for reasons we cannot understand, people make wrong choices with terrible consequences.

    5. It is okay to be upset. Jesus got angry and cried, too.

    6. When tragedy or hardship occurs, God will bring good out of it. Our help comes when we seek His goodness in the midst of our turmoil.

    7. God will redeem every broken place in our lives, if we choose to let Him.

    8. In the midst of hardship, those who seek God will find comfort, strength, wisdom, hope, and peace in Him.

    9. God is good. There is no evil in Him.

    NINE TRUTHS was written by Kayleen Scott on December 15, 2012 as a response to the loss of precious lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.