The Texas church where more than two dozen people were killed by a gunman during Sunday services will be demolished, the pastor said.
Pastor Frank Pomeroy told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this week that it would be too painful to continue using First Baptist Church as a place of worship.
A national Southern Baptist spokesman said Pomeroy discussed the plan with the denomination’s top executives, who traveled to the rural community in a show of support.
The spokesman, Sing Oldham, said the pastor described the building as “too stark of a reminder” of the massacre. Pomeroy expressed hope he could turn the site into a memorial for the dead and put up a new building on property the church owns.
On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a memorial service for the victims of the gunman.
Pence told the crowd that the attack was the worst mass shooting at a church in American history and called the gunman “deranged.”
“Whatever animated the evil that descended on that small church, if the attacker’s desire was to silence their testimony of faith, they failed,” the vice president added.
Eight of the fatalities were children or teenagers. The oldest of them was 16.
The governor said Texans come together at times of crisis and tragedy. “It’s what we do,” Abbott said. People in the crowd responded “amen.”
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