September 1, 2014
Loading
   
   
At anniversary, Wedgwood focuses on God's faithfulness
PREV
Al Meredith, pastor of Wedgwood Baptist Church, leads in a time of prayer during a Sept. 13 commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the shooting that left seven people dead and five others wounded before the gunman killed himself at the Fort Worth, Texas, church, on Sept. 15, 1999.  Photo by David Hughling.
Photo Terms of Use | Download Photo
Gathering in small groups to pray, attendees lift their hearts to God during a Sept. 13 commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the shooting that left seven people dead at Wedgwood Baptist Church on Sept. 15, 1999.  Photo by David Hughling.
Photo Terms of Use | Download Photo
Many hands were raised in prayer and worship during a commemorative service at Wedgwood Baptist Church Sept. 13 marking the 10th anniversary of a gunman’s shooting spree that left seven people dead on Sept. 15, 1999.  Photo by David Hughling.
Photo Terms of Use | Download Photo
Al Meredith, pastor of Wedgwood Baptist Church, speaks a positive word to children attending a Sept. 13 commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the shooting deaths of seven people at the Fort Worth, Texas, church on Sept. 15, 1999.  Photo by David Hughling.
Photo Terms of Use | Download Photo
At the 10th anniversary of a gunman's shooting spree that left seven people dead, churchgoers placed "stones of remembrance" on a granite monument erected in 2002 at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.  Photo by David Hughling.
Photo Terms of Use | Download Photo
NEXT
Posted on Sep 14, 2009 | by Keith Collier

Email this Story

My Name*:
My Email*:
Comment:
  Enter list of email recipients, one address per box
Recipient 1*
Recipient 2
Recipient 3
Recipient 4
Recipient 5
To fight spam-bots, we need to verify you're a real human user.
Please enter your answer below:
Who was the first woman?
Answer*:
  * = Required Fields Close
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--Songs, tears and prayers acknowledging God's faithfulness flowed from Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, as the church held a special commemoration Sept. 13 of the 10th anniversary of the tragic shooting that stunned the nation and forever changed the congregation. On Sept. 15, 1999, a gunman entered Wedgwood during a Wednesday night See You at the Pole rally and began shooting, leaving seven people dead and wounding five others before killing himself.

The commemorative service provided a time of remembrance and reflection through singing, video testimonies and a time of prayer for healing. Outside, churchgoers placed "stones of remembrance" on a granite monument, dedicated in 2002, that honors the victims.

A theme throughout the evening was God's faithfulness during the midst of tragedy. The church's choir led in singing such hymns as "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and "Amazing Grace" in addition to contemporary songs that amplified God's sovereignty in bringing good out of bad circumstances.

Video interviews with family members who lost loved ones and individuals wounded in the shooting testified to the peace and strength they found in God as well as the lessons He has taught them.

Kathy Jo Rogers, whose husband Shawn was killed, said, "The main thing that God has taught me in these 10 years is to learn to trust Him. I trusted Him for my salvation before Sept. 15, 1999, but I had never had to really trust Him."

Others recounted how they came to understand what it means to rely on God fully even during dark times.

After the videos, Wedgwood pastor Al Meredith led in a time of prayer, saying, "I don't believe the church is ever more powerful than when we're on our knees before Him."

Meredith invited anyone wanting physical, emotional or spiritual healing to come forward for prayer. Throughout the sanctuary, church members and staff gathered around individuals, laying hands on them as they prayed.

The service concluded with an invitation for those without a relationship with God through Jesus Christ to repent and put their trust in Him.

"Nothing in this life will completely satisfy," Meredith said. "Nothing in this life will ever take away all the pain, all the tears, all the sorrow so that you just simply skip off into eternity. Faith is trusting in God today and knowing that if the pain never goes away, if the loneliness never abates, someday the doors of heaven will be wide open ... and the Savior will be there with arms open wide.... That's what we're really longing for."

The evening also served as a reunion for Wedgwood members and individuals from the community who aided the church in the moments and months following the shooting.

"That night so long ago, so many of you came to our rescue," Meredith said in recognizing police officers, firefighters, EMT personnel and counselors who helped that night and thanking them anew for their care and tireless service. He also thanked a local Church of Christ congregation for their support and friendship, which began in the aftermath of the event.

"One of the good things that came out of the shootings was the cross-denominational, cross-racial fellowship between churches," Meredith said, noting that the tragedy served as the impetus for a Fort Worth organization that connects churches from a variety of denominations through monthly prayer meetings and ministry opportunities.
--30--
Keith Collier is director of news and information at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
For complete Baptist Press coverage of the 10th anniversary of the Wedgwood shootings, go to http://bpnews.net/BPCollectionNews.asp?ID=158.
Latest Stories
  • LABOR DAY: R.G. Lee steeled by Panama Canal 'rugged toil'
  • Platt looks ahead to mission challenges
  • FIRST-PERSON: 10 things we owe David Platt
  • Transcript: David Platt press conference
  • TRUSTEES: Rainer on 'headwinds of change'; LifeWay downtown property studied; 2% revenue gain projected
  • Fire survivors thankful for Baptist relief
  • Afghan family longs for hope and peace
  • 2nd VIEW: TRUSTEES: Funding for short-term workers, Mideast refugee crisis accompany Platt vote
  • CALL TO PRAYER: Keep asking in prayer
  • FIRST-PERSON: The increase of narcissism
  • FIRST-PERSON: 'Don't Labor in Vain Day'
  • EDITORIAL: Por tres pecados, y por el cuarto
  • Add Baptist Press to
    your news reader


       
       


     © Copyright 2014 Baptist Press. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.


    Southern Baptist Convention