Home 5 News 5 Texas church painted white in memorial to Sutherland Springs shooting victims

Texas church painted white in memorial to Sutherland Springs shooting victims

The Texan church where 26 members of the congregation were gunned down as they worshipped has been painted white in their memorial. 

Opened for the first time since the worst mass shooting in the state’s modern history, both the interior and exterior of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs have been covered in the colour. 

Inside 26 white chairs have been placed, with the name of each victim painted in gold on them.  A single red rose has been placed on each one.   

One chair bears a pink rose for the unborn child of a pregnant woman who was killed in the attack.

They were killed earlier this month when David Patrick Kelley entered the church last week and opened fire on the congregation.  They were aged from 77 years to 18 months. Around 20 others were injured. 

It is the first time since the shooting that inside of the church has been opened.

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First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs which has been turned into a memorial to honor those who died (Getty Images)

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The inside of the church has been painted white with 26 white chairs placed around the room (Getty Images)

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Visitors tour the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs (Getty Images)

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More than two dozen people were killed (AP)

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Each chair is also painted with a cross (AP)

The first service since the shooting was held over the weekend by Pastor Frank Pomeroy in a huge white tent outside the church. His 14-year-old daughter Annabelle was among the victims. 

The front three rows were reserved for survivors of the attack and the families of those killed.

Many arrived early, offering hugs to each other and prayers as a steady rain fell on the tarp roof. 

Many wept during the service and a moving version of “Amazing Grace,” led by three singers and a man on guitar, as the voices of hundreds sang along. 

So many people turned up to hear the sermon that the tent’s side flaps had to be opened to allow people to see and hear the service.

Mark Collins, a former pastor at the church, said it was the biggest congregation seen in the 100-year history of the place of worship. 

Additional reporting by AP


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