Texas church where mass shooting took place may be demolished, says pastor

The church in Texas which became the site of a deadly shooting rampage on Nov. 5 may be demolished and replaced by a memorial for the 26 victims who lost their lives in the attack, according to a Southern Baptist Convention official.

(REUTERS / Rick Wilking)Workers make repairs and paint the site of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S. November 9, 2017.

In a telephone interview, SBC spokesman Roger Oldham said Pastor Frank Pomeroy of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs told convention leaders that he wanted "to raze the building." The pastor thought that the church, which was now riddled with bullets after Devin Kelley opened fire on worshippers and killed 26 on Sunday, could cause emotional pain to congregants, Reuters relayed.

Instead of rebuilding the church, Oldham said Pastor Pomeroy was considering turning it into a memorial garden. The pastor, who lost his 14-year-old daughter in the mass shooting, had turned down requests to address the media after releasing a statement on Nov. 6.

Pastor Pomeroy and his wife Sherri were not present when the church shooting happened, as they were out of town at the time. Sherri sent a text message to respond to The Associated Press' request for an interview and said they not only lost their daughter but also "many friends" in the tragedy, Fox 4 reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who was in Japan when the shooting happened, posted a message on Twitter praying that God would be with the residents of Sutherland Springs. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas also wrote a tweet that asked people to pray for the community impacted by the tragic attack.

Meanwhile, Sherri announced on Facebook that there will be a worship service behind a community center in Sutherland Springs on Nov. 12. She invited people to join the gathering to honor the people who died worshipping the Lord and said the service will "show the world that we may be knocked down temporarily but WE ARE NOT DEFEATED."