He also wrote that he will now carry his own weapon to church on Sunday and asks all off duty officers and those with unrestricted hand gun permits to do the same.
After the sermon at the tent, the congregation was invited to return to the church for the first time since the massacre.
Americans are growing both tired of and numb to reports of mass shootings such as the incidents in Sutherland Springs, Texas and Antioch, Tennessee. He says that while they will be allowed inside the church to take part in the memorial, it was set up with members in mind. He noted Pomeroy had raised the possibility of tearing down the facility at some point in the future, but that was a personal reflection, not a statement of the church body's decision. "We want to talk with our citizens and church leaders about potential threats", said Chief Mark Weeks.
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Two of the five deadliest mass shootings in the United States occurred within the past 35 days and both are now on the top ten list, pushing the infamous 1999 Columbine school shooting off. Do you know someone else we should interview for this story?
While many churches have long had plans for floods or tornadoes, Wohlrabe said violence and bloodshed in a church has always been seen as a societal taboo.
"One of the arguments coming out of this is politicians and media saying we need to stop saying thoughts and prayers, and for me, that's not something that needs to be said right now", Patnode said. But such thinking misses something more fundamental: producing mass shootings is what America does.
"Especially with what happened in Texas and the church in Alabama, you don't think a small town is going to experience that but they do", said churchgoer James Nofsinger.
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"We want it to be a message to the world that this will not break us", Pastor Pomeroy said.
Pomeroy's voice cracked as he paused, and described the victims as "my best friends and my daughter". "And I guarantee without any shadow of a doubt they are dancing with Jesus today".
The front three rows are reserved for First Baptist Church members and their families, as a steady rain falls on the tarp roof while church-goers slowly file in.
Jackson, the county's top administrator, thanked the first responders and others who rushed to First Baptist Church in the aftermath of last Sunday's shooting, which also wounded about 20 people. Some are hugging and others are praying or sitting quietly.
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While filming the overhead LED lights, the bands appear to be dancing or moving while the rest of the scene looks clear in HD. Dead spots are spots on the display that shows the image but does not respond when it is touch.
Initial plans called for gathering at a community center that could house a few dozen people.