Collierville community looks to faith in an attempt to make sense of the tragedy – FOX13 News Memphis

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COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. – Waves of shock and grief continue to sweep through the community of Collierville after a gunman entered a Kroger on Thursday and shot dead 15 people, killing one, police said.

Sunday ushered in the first day of prayer service in churches across the region since the tragedy unfolded, and many have turned to their faith to cope.

These people came to try to make sense of the tragedy in the best way they knew how.

At Collierville Central Church, the congregation gathered for Sunday morning service to listen to the words of their pastors. The church is located just three kilometers from the scene of the shooting.

“When I heard this was going on in our Kroger, I was amazed,” said Matt Shackelford, senior church pastor, as he addressed the congregation.

Hundreds of people attended the service.

Shackelford said he rushed to the Kroger, meeting people in the parking lot, to pray with them.

“I had never seen anything like it,” he said. “Thursday at (at the time of filming) everything changed, including my sermon. We just had to take a break.

Using the experience of prayer with those fleeing chaos, Shackelford preached about finding strength through trouble, teaching from the psalms of the book.

“It was moving. It was one of those things where you don’t sleep well after the days we’ve had, ”Shackelford said in an interview before the service started.

Shackelford said days before the shooting, Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane was on duty.


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That day, he said, he brought Lane to the front of the church and prayed for him. Shackelford said he believed those prayers guided Lane as he responded to the calamity.

“I’d rather not see that sort of thing happen,” said Tom Schwendimann, who attended the Sunday service, recalling the shooting. “I can’t do much about it, but I can do what (Shackelford) said: keep my refuge in Almighty God. “

As the Kroger parking lot filled with people seeking refuge from the gunfire, Church member Dillon Hall said he walked past.

He too, he said, had to stop and pray.

“Because I’m able to throw my worries on him, it’s not as difficult as it could be,” Hall said in an interview.


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