On Sunday, Pastor Frank Pomeroy had to deliver his first sermon since the devastating shooting at the First Baptist Church. The Sutherland Springs Pastor spoke to a congregation that was missing 26 people, who were shot by Devin Kelley.
Pomeroy nearly broke down during the church’s first service since the shooting, reported CNN. Not only did Pomeroy lose 25 parishioners, but he also lost his own 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle.
The congregation didn’t gather in the church where the shooting occurred. They came together in a white tent on a baseball field a few blocks away from the shooting.
"Victory has a price," Pomeroy told the congregation, which was rocked by what was the worst mass shooting in Texas history. "You cannot be victorious in battle without being wounded in battle."
Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, were out of town last Sunday. Their daughter stayed behind, and she was in the church when the shooting happened.
"I know everyone who lost their life that day, some of which were my best friends, and my daughter," Pomeroy said, overcome with emotion as he spoke. "And I guarantee without any shadow of a doubt they are dancing with Jesus today. God gets the glory."
About 500 people filled the tent to hear Pomeroy preach. That included Texas Senator John Cornyn.
"We have the power to choose, and, rather than choose darkness, like that young man did that day, I say we choose life," Pomeroy told his congregation and others from around the area.
Senator Cornyn commented on the congregation in an impromptu press conference after the service: “It's clear they're people of deep faith…And that's what sustains them and gives them hope, even during dark times like this."
Cornyn also spoke highly of Pomeroy, who is dealing with his own personal grief on top of the grief of his flock.
"I saw him standing there at the front of the church, comforting others," Cornyn said. "It's remarkable, but it's a testament to their faith and their compassion for others during this very difficult time."
On Sunday evening, the First Baptist Church allowed the public in, transforming into a memorial. It was completely covered from floor to ceiling in white, 25 white chairs were there for each of the victims. 25 red roses were placed on those chairs, and a single pink rose was placed on a chair in honor of the unborn child.
"I want everyone that walks in there to know that the people who died lived for their Lord and Savior, and would want them to live as well," Pomeroy said in Sunday's service.
Former associate pastor Mark Collins announced that the congregation will return to their church next week. Sunday school classes will also resume.