Salvationists Give Comfort to Victims, Responders at Texas Church Shooting

By: Philip Burn

Officers and staff from The Salvation Army in San Antonio were deployed to provide emotional and physical support within hours of the tragic shooting Sunday, Nov. 5, at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The Salvation Army’s mobile kitchen arrived on the scene at around 5:30 p.m., and officers spent time ministering to relatives as they waited on word about their family members. Twenty-six people were killed and 20 were hurt when a gunman opened fire at a Sunday morning worship service.

“We were able to give water and snacks, but most importantly we listened to many of the families share stories about their missing family members. We prayed with many of the families,” said Major Carolynn Webb, associate area commander of The Salvation Army San Antonio Metropolitan Area Command.

The Salvation Army continued to provide emotional and spiritual care to the community for three days following the tragedy. Also, several Salvation Army officers were available to speak with and pray with family members. Major Robert Webb, San Antonio area commander reached out to a local funeral home, offering to help with burial expenses if needed.

“We have all been shaken by the tragic events of Sunday afternoon in the beautiful community of Sutherland Springs,” said Lt. Colonel Ronnie Raymer, divisional commander of The Salvation Army in Texas.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected by this atrocity and especially those who have lost loved ones and have injured family members. The Salvation Army will remain in the community providing nourishment, with listening ears and praying hearts, for as long as we are requested to serve.”

Emotional and spiritual care is a unique aspect of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, with trained personnel available to speak to and pray with disaster survivors and first responders in times of crisis.