Pastor has message of love in wake of shooting tragedy
Flags are being flown at half-staff across the nation after the attack on the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs over the weekend.
Sutherland Springs is about 20 miles southeast of San Antonio. Twenty-six people were killed and many more wounded when a gunman entered the church there Sunday morning and began firing with an assault rifle.
Although Sutherland Springs is 400 miles from Mount Pleasant, hearts are heavy across Titus County.
Despite the significant loss of life, Senior Pastor Tommy Oglesby of South Jefferson Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant provided a message of hope — rather than fear — to his congregation just hours after tragedy struck.
“I’ve been doing a study of First Peter, which addressed churches that were suffering persecution at that time,” said Oglesby. “I spoke to my church Sunday night and I used verses from First Peter, Chapter Four. I started out reading Verse Seven to them, which reads: ‘Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Oglesby said, “You know, the world has always had evil and now it shows up in strange forms and ways.” Oglesby asked his congregation to remember to pray “continuously.”
“God wants us to be bold, strong and courageous,” he said. “We can’t be overcome by fear. Second Timothy tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline.”
According to Oglesby, the “love factor” is key. “Love deeply. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Instead of loving, a lot of people turn to hate and that’s terrible for anybody. We are called to love very deeply.”Last but not least, Oglesby asked his congregation, as well as Mount Pleasant as a whole, to “share graciously.”
“There are a lot of people in deep need right here in Mount Pleasant,” he said. “Share graciously. Speak kind words and do something for somebody else.”