Sanctuary of deadly church massacre transformed into memorial

By  | 

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (KENS 5) -- Exactly one week after the massacre in Sutherland Springs, the church sanctuary has been transformed into a memorial.

On Sunday, the public got a first look inside.

"Satan got one play, and then he fumbled the football. We have seen such an outpouring, and salt and light has come to Sutherland Springs like we've never seen before," said Mark Collins, Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

Taking a step inside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, you hear recordings of scripture readings by members of the congregation.

You'll see painted windows and a large wooden cross at the back at the church with bible at it's feet, surrounded by all white; white walls, white floors where carpet used to sit, and white chairs.

"We had some amazing people come and pull off a miracle to basically rebuild the sanctuary in about 72 hours," said Collins.

Each chair is strategically placed where each of the 26 victims sat peacefully as evil stormed during the 11 a.m. service November 5.

"The sense of urgency to get it done was so that those families who are coming into town that needed to come to where their loved one was can have that opportunity," said Collins.

Sunday, the doors opened to the community. People patiently waited their turn to pay respects, including Bob and Patricia from Hudson Valley, New York.

"We were sent by our church," said Bob.

The duo's mission is to attend every funeral for the Sutherland Springs victims.

"Love can rule and this hate can be overcome," said Bob. "That's what we want to work on. That's what our country needs and the world needs."

The memorial is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Collins says they plan to have church service on the grounds next Sunday.

Members of the media asked Collins if the nearly 100-year-old church building will stay. He says that's a decision members of the church will make in the far future.

(Chris Duesler/CBS 7)
(Chris Duesler/CBS 7)
(Chris Duesler/CBS 7)
(Chris Duesler/CBS 7)