PENSACOLA — Pensacola Baptist churches are grieving as they bring comfort, hope and love to their community after a gunman began shooting at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, killing three people and wounding eight others Friday, Dec. 6.
“When tragedy strikes in a place like this, we are a tight-knit community and everyone is proud of their military, it causes a huge ripple,” said Dave Snyder, pastor of First Baptist Church in Pensacola. The church is working with Baptist Health to minister to the staff who have tended to the patients who survived the NAS shooting.
“Some of them are deacons and members of our church and we have a close partnership with Baptist Health,” Snyder said. “This shooting has really shown us that we need to have a heavier presence there.”
“We are just kind of in shock,” said Terra Shishido, military spouse and member of The Point Church, located on the west end of NAS Pensacola. The church has seen an increase in military personnel from the base attending services and seeking counseling. The church is standing ready to help with long-term counseling and other needs.
“Today Pensacola hurts,” pastor Ted Traylor said to the nearly 100 people gathered at Olive Baptist Church’s campus in Warrington for a vigil on Dec. 7. The campus is located a mile from NAS Pensacola and was launched to reach military personnel in the community.
“We thought it would be good just to gather together where we like to come and have a few folks share their hearts with us, read Scripture and pray,” Traylor said. “And that’s what this is about.” B&R