Three days after a gunman killed a woman and injured seven others at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, church members came together for their regularly scheduled service as the community looks to heal.
Natalie Allison/USA TODAY NETWORK-Tennessee
NASHVILLE — The carpet has been pulled up from the floor of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.
Five of its congregants, including the pastor, remain hospitalized for gunshot wounds.
Those who aren’t hospitalized will attend a funeral Thursday for Melanie Crow, who was killed as she walked out of church Sunday.
But on Wednesday night, they filed into Burnette Chapel’s fellowship hall, the same room where some had waited for hours Sunday afternoon as local police and federal agents combed through evidence left behind when a masked man opened fire, wounding seven and killing one.
Midweek service went on as it does every Wednesday at 7 p.m., despite the church still figuring out what to do with an auditorium in disarray and the cluster of reporters that continued to hover.
Victims return to worship
Catherine Dickerson slipped into the back of the fellowship hall as the room sang It Is Well With My Soul, a hymn about keeping the faith regardless of hardship.
Dickerson, who was shot in her left thigh Sunday, sang along.
As speakers and prayer leaders took to the front of the room, she rested her leg on a chair and closed her eyes.
“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, simultaneously quoting scripture.
Dickerson briefly raised her hand toward heaven.
“You, who did not spare your own son, but sent him into the world.”
Sages was among those from the community who responded Sunday to New Beautiful Gate Church, a neighboring congregation in Antioch where some victims were reunited with their families.
“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,” Sager continued. “We pray, Lord, that you would remind us of your…