Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Blake Bivens said that he discovered his family was dead in one of the worst ways imaginable: through a disturbing Facebook headline.
Bivens' brother-in-law Matthew Thomas Bernard, 19, was accused of killing Bivens' wife, son, and mother-in-law in August.
Authorities charged Bernard with three counts of first-degree homicide and is being held without bond.
What are the details?
Bivens, 24, discussed the tragedy during a church service Sunday at The River church in Danville, Virginia.
During the service, he recalled the moment he heard the tragic news. Bivens was in an airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, when he heard the news.
"First headline [on Facebook] I see is two females and a small child were gone," Bivens said. "I immediately knew that was them. I found out my family was gone over a Facebook headline. I just immediately began to scream in the middle of the airport."
Authorities said that Bernard's alleged killing of his mother, 62-year-old Joan Bernard, his sister, 25-year-old Emily Bivens, and his nephew, 14-month-old Cullen Bivens, was reportedly motivated by religion.
Bivens said that the hardest moment he experienced was when he walked into his toddler son's bedroom.
"[I] realized I was never going to see him on this Earth again," he said. "That was the worst moment in my life. Nothing will ever come to feeling the way I felt at that moment. Then again, I know I will see him again one day, and it won't be long."
Bivens relies on his faith
The baseball player said he leaned on his faith to get him through the hard times, and said that he continues to rely on the power of Jesus Christ to get him through his life on a daily basis.
"[W]hen I read, 'Take heart, for I have overcome the world,' it changed, it completely flipped a switch in my heart," he said during the appearance. "And from that moment on, I knew that this was not going to beat me, this was not going to beat family. I was going to live in victory the rest of my life, and I was going to use this as a testimony to show what He has done for me He can also do for others."
Bivens said that when he learned of his freedom through Jesus, he could only "laugh in the enemy's face."
"That moment for me was one of the biggest moments where I just knew God was with me," he said, "and the only thing I knew to do was just laugh in the enemy's face, because he thought he had won. But all he's done is awoken a sleeping giant, and as long as I'm here on this earth, every day I wake up, my goal is to pile-drive him right in the face every morning when I get up."
May 3, 2020 River Church Danville www.youtube.com