Hope radiates on the one-year anniversary of mass shooting

Yesterday, Governor Greg Abbott attended an anniversary celebration at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church marking the deadly shooting.

Today is the one year anniversary of the deadly church shooting, which killed 26, nearly half children, and wounded another 20, some severely, at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church.

Within a couple of hours of the shooting, the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention was on hand to help around the clock for the first month.

SBTC Executive Director Dr. Jim Richards said the congregation is stronger than it's ever been.

"The people have a resilient spirit and they look to the Lord, Jesus Christ, whom they worship and they expect great days ahead," said Richards.

The state group provided financial help for the pastor and family, a new building, counseling and even housing for victims who then needed wheelchair ramps.

Richards said attendance has increased three-fold and people even drive weekly from San Antonio to attend services.

"Several people who had ceased attending church have returned. Others have found faith in Christ through this crisis," said Richards.

Members now meet in a temporary location next door. They haven't missed a Sunday service since the mass killing.

The former church is a memorial with 26 white chairs with the victim’s names inscribed in gold.

Richards said the community reflects back on their loved ones and friends who died and hope to one day be with them in Heaven.

"In the interim that we all continue to serve the Lord and live for Him," said Richards.

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