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Photos from inside Texas church are revealed as pastor holds first service since the massacre
Image source: TheBlaze

Photos from inside Texas church are revealed as pastor holds first service since the massacre

First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, opened its doors to the public Sunday for the first time since the deadly shooting last week, offering a look inside the four walls where gunman Devin Patrick Kelley took the lives of 26 churchgoers and injured many more.

What did the inside look like?

The church, which was turned into a memorial honoring the victims of the horrific shooting, was completely renovated.

Church pews had been removed entirely, and the interior had been painted white from top to bottom. The windows were also replaced.

Where each victim sat, a white folding chair was placed, along with a single rose in memory of the victim. The victims' names were painted on the chairs in gold lettering.

NBC News reported that the renovation of the church took 72 hours of round-the-clock labor.

The Huffington Post reported that, at this time, it is unclear whether the memorial — which is currently open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — will remain, or if the building will be razed.

What was the church's first service like?

The Rev. Frank Pomeroy, pastor of First Baptist Church, held the church's first post-shooting Sunday service in a billowing white tent set up on a baseball field, several blocks from the site of the massacre.

Much of the devastated community attended the service.

The first several rows were reserved specifically for church members, and packets of tissues were left on the seats for attendees.

Pomeroy, fighting back the tears during the service, said, "I know every single name, every one who gave their life that day. They were my best friends, and my daughter. And I guarantee beyond any shadow of a doubt that they are dancing with Jesus.

"God gets the glory," he said.

Pomeroy told those gathered that 11 people had come to Christ in the days since the massacre.

"My heart breaks, but I’m excited to see what God is going to do," Pomeroy elaborated. "I know God has a plan."

According to the Huffington Post, 450 seats at the service were filled. Another 100 attendees stood.

CNN reported that Pomeroy added "victory has a price."

"You cannot be victorious in battle without being wounded in battle," he said.

The New York Times reported that the congregants sang "Amazing Grace" during the service.

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