In the wake of a deadly church shooting that left 26 dead and some 20 others wounded at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) has dispatched volunteer chaplains to serve the hurting community.

In an email letter to Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) pastors, BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer Anthony Jordan said, “In light of the tragic events in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday, I wanted to encourage each of us to continue praying for this congregation and community. Our DR Director Williams has informed me that we are dispatching our DR incident command center to Sutherland Springs, where we will coordinate chaplaincy efforts that offer emotional and spiritual care for this community in need.”

According to Baptist Press, “Local pastors and field personnel with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) began providing grief counseling within hours of the shooting at First Baptist’s morning worship service Nov. 5. Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines and SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page plan to arrive in Sutherland Springs Nov. 7 to offer prayer and encouragement. SBTC executive director Jim Richards arrived today (Nov. 6).”

Jordan added, “We are lifting up our brothers and sisters in Texas up to the Lord in prayer, in this time of great need.”

Look for future coverage of the Sutherland Springs response in an upcoming edition of the Baptist Messenger.