SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (KOSA) -- The site of the deadliest shooting ever in Texas has been converted into a memorial.
Crews worked to convert the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs into a memorial to honor the victims of last week’s massacre. All of the furniture has been removed, walls repainted and windows replaced.
Twenty-six chairs all sit with a single rose, honoring each victim. Church leaders say the chairs are placed where each victim was sitting last Sunday.
The church opened the doors to the community at 5 p.m. on Sunday. A line wrapped around the block waiting to get a glimpse of the memorial.
“Satan did not win. This is the largest turnout our church has ever seen,” one church member said.
There was standing room only inside of a tent on the baseball field adjacent from the main church building.
Pastor Frank Pomeroy greeted the crowd saying “love never fails.”
“I don’t understand this and I’m not going to try,” he said. “The ultimate victory is with Jesus. I know all of those church members killed, some of them my best friends, are dancing with Jesus today.”
Senator John Cornyn attended the service, telling the media he is here to show his support to the community of Sutherland Springs.
“No words can fix anything, but just simply being here for these people is important to me,” Sen. Cornyn said.
Pastor Pomeroy says the main church building has been transformed into a memorial for people to visit and pay their respects later Sunday afternoon.
“We want it to be a message to the world that this will not break us,” Pastor Pomeroy said.