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Sutherland Springs Pastor Wonders If He Was There, Could He Have Done More?

Frank Sherri Pomory AP
Frank Sherri Pomory AP

Frank Pomeroy, the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas gave his first extensive interview to The New York Times Wednesday, just a few weeks following the mass shooting at his church on Nov. 5.

Pomeroy, 51, often wonders what would've been if he had been preaching that day – could he have made a difference? 

"I'm trying to follow the Bible, which says you should not let the sun set on your anger because anger only makes it worse," the pastor told the Times

As CBN News reported, one week before the tragedy Pomeroy preached an encouraging sermon on turning to God when life becomes difficult never imagining what would happen just a week later.

"God's understanding is far greater and there may be things that are taking place that you don't understand, but you still need to do what God is calling you to do," he said.

He referenced Proverbs 3:5-6, which reads:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

"So many times in the midst of circumstances and situations that doesn't seem right to us, we try to take over and do what we think should be done," he continued. "Rather than waiting to see how God is going to work it out."

"Seek God's face, his direction, and do what God is telling you to do," Pomeroy encouraged. "In other words, lean on His understanding."

However, finding spiritual peace has been difficult for the pastor, his flock and everyone in the tightly knit rural Sutherland Springs community since that tragic day.

"In a word, life has been tumultuous and it feels like the days are running together because they have been extremely busy," he explained. "I feel that I am not grieving as adequately as I should.  I feel pretty weak right now, a bit shaky."

"It is hard to be strong for everyone else when I have my own heartache, but each day I am able to function a little better," Pomeroy said. 

Dealing with his pain has not prevented him from carrying out his duties. When he's not attending funerals or making hospital visits, he has also been meeting with a committee whose purpose is to determine the future of the church.

Pomeroy said the media reports that said he had decided to demolish the church building were inaccurate. That decision has not been made.

"Those reports hurt a lot of people who need the church to grieve," he said. 

Pomeroy, who carries a concealed weapon when he preaches, does not believe that anyone who attended services that morning was armed.  

"In a way, I think that if I were there I could have done more," he said. "But who is to say?"

Pomeroy said the outpouring of support the couple has received from around the world has been tremendous. They feel uplifted.

"It is encouraging that although there was one bad guy who tried to steal the day," he told the Times, "thousands of good people have stood up in support."


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