New church breaks ground in Texas town after massacre

Visitors tour the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs after it was turned into a memorial to honor those who died on November 12, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas  — A new church has broken ground in the Texas town of Sutherland Springs six months after a gunman killed more than two dozen people during a Sunday service.

Sherri Pomeroy of First Baptist Church says Saturday’s groundbreaking was held on the six-month anniversary of the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history to “celebrate the lives that our friends and family lived.”

Pomeroy’s husband is the pastor of the church where Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire. Their 14-year-old daughter was among those killed. Authorities put the official death toll at 26 because one of the 25 people killed was pregnant.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that community members reiterated during the weekend ceremony that no victims’ funds would be used for construction of the new $3 million church.