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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Tennessee Church Holds Emotional First Service Since Shooting

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Sep 28
  • Comments

Members of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ suffered a terrible tragedy earlier this week. A shooting took place at the metro Nashville church and last night, church members held their first service since the shooting took place.

One church attendee, 39-year-old Melanie Smith, was shot and killed and six other church members were injured.

The shooter, Emanuel Kidega Samson, was reportedly a former member of the church and had posted Christian messages on Facebook. He was also an immigrant from Sudan, who came to the U.S. in 1996. He is now in police custody.

Members of Burnette Chapel have been processing this terrible tragedy and recently held their first service following the shooting.

It was an emotional time, but members came together to comfort one another and to reiterate their trust in God.

“We want to claim the promise that if you're for us, no one can be against us,” prayed Scott Sages, Lipscomb University's Vice President for church services, as reported by “You, who did not spare your own son, but sent him into the world.”

Lipscomb continued: “We confess that the words of Jesus, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken us?’ have been words we've spoken over the last few days. We pray, Lord, that you would remind us of your presence.”

The congregation also sang the hymn “It is Well with My Soul.”

As church members met for this service, there was heightened security posted outside.


Photo: Law enforcement continues their investigation around the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on September 24, 2017 in Antioch, Tennessee. One person was killed and seven were wounded when a gunman opened fire in the church.

Photo courtesy: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images

Publication date: September 28, 2017