In a press conference the day after the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife Sherri demonstrated evidence of God’s grace while teaching us what it looks like to trust God in all situations.
Holding back tears as he introduced his wife, Pastor Pomeroy told the gathered media, “We have had a long night with our children and grandbabies that we have left.” He then turned the mic over to his wife, who shared a Facebook post she had published earlier in the day.
One of the things, out of many, that stands out is how Sherri Pomeroy makes clear that in the face of multiple interview requests to celebrate the life of their daughter the grieving couple didn’t want to “overshadow the other lives lost yesterday.”
Continuing in that spirit of selflessness and concern for others, she says, “We lost more than Belle [their daughter] yesterday… Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a very close family. We ate together. We laughed together. We cried together. And we worshipped together.”
I encourage you to watch the interview. Having watched it over half a dozen times, it still moves me to tears and causes me to give thanks to God for the love and faith evident in Pastor Frank and Sherri Pomeroy. And, frankly, nothing that I write will do justice to the beautiful words, spirit, and faith of the Pomeroys.
If the tragic murder of over two-dozen of his flock weren’t bad enough, many of the victims were children, included Pastor Pomeroy’s fourteen-year-old daughter. That heartbreaking reality hasn’t caused Frank and Sherri Pomeroy to point fingers. And possibly more impressive is the fact that they haven’t stopped caring for and loving their hurting community and church family. Their example of selfless, loving, and Christ-centered care and service is a testament to the power of the Holy Spirit and the peace of God that passes all understanding for those who are repenting of their sins and placing their faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Satan waged an all-out war last Sunday on God’s people worshiping at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. But like the war that Satan waged on Jesus, death is revealing God’s grace and mercy. Pastor Frank and Sherri Pomeroy know that their Savior conquered sin and death and that a resurrection awaits God’s children, when all who are placing their faith in Jesus will be ushered into the eternal blessing of God’s rest.
Pastor Pomeroy ended the press conference with these God-honoring words:
“Christ is the one who’s going to be lifted up. That’s what I’m telling everybody. You lean into what you don’t understand. You lean into the Lord… Whatever life brings to you, lean on the Lord rather than your own understanding. I don’t understand, but I know my God does. And that’s where I’ll leave that.”
When a gunman walked to the front of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs’ sanctuary and opened fire, violence and sin attempted to disrupt the worship of our holy and just Creator. While briefly succeeding, Satan failed to fully and finally undo the praise and worship of God, and sin failed to make permanent inroads into the faith of the church’s pastor and his wife.
“Neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39)”