SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) The Texas church where more than two dozen people were killed by a gunman during Sunday services will be demolished, the pastor said.
Pastor Frank Pomeroy told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention earlier this week that it would be too painful to continue using First Baptist Church as a place of worship.
A national Southern Baptist spokesman said Pomeroy discussed the plan with the denomination’s top executives, who traveled to the rural community in a show of support.
The spokesman, Sing Oldham, said the pastor described the building as “too stark of a reminder” of the massacre. Pomeroy expressed hope he could turn the site into a memorial for the dead and put up a new building on property the church owns.
Other sites of mass shootings also have been torn down, including Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults in December 2012. A new school was built elsewhere.
A one-room Amish schoolhouse near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was torn down in 2006, 10 days after a gunman took children hostage and shot and killed five girls ages 6 to 13.
The previous site of the school is now a pasture. A nearly identical schoolhouse with a security fence was erected nearby and named New Hope School.