Faith At Work
Unthinkable tragedy struck the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas when a gunman opened fire during Sunday service, killing 26 worshippers on November 5, 2017. People across the country and the world mourned for the loss of so many lives and for the families and friends of the 26 victims.
Birmingham-based development company, Myrick, Gurosky & Associates, Inc. (MG+A) paved the road of hope for the grieving church. The MG+A team came to the aid of church members in the aftermath of the mass shooting by providing development, design and construction oversight to the church’s new worship center and education building. The North American Mission Board assisted in the funding for the building project.
Many other Birmingham-based firms also donated to this project including Leeds Stained Glass, Vulcan Materials, AllSouth Appliances, Amerson Engraving and Gallery Services. The project’s architect and designer, Michael O’Kelley of O’Kelley Architecture, worked side-by-side with MG+A to ensure that the modern design and church’s history complemented each other.
Almost two years later, on May 19, 2019, the new church building dedication was held. In addition to security elements, the design includes the use of stone, hardwood flooring, wooden beams and large glass windows. All of the design elements were included to provide a sense of refuge and safety to everyone who walks in the doors. The worship center, which seats 300 people, was designed with special considerations for Kris Workman, the church’s worship leader, who was paralyzed in the shooting.
While the new building’s purpose is to usher the church into a bright future, the 26 churchgoers who lost their lives on that tragic day in November are also remembered. A plaque with each victim’s picture and name, designed by Birmingham’s Ivy Schuster of Hatcher Schuster Interiors, serves as a tangible reminder of the value of life.
Scott Gurosky, president of MG+A, shares, “We were honored to help this resilient, faithful church begin its newest chapter. The new construction reflects how God has moved powerfully through tremendous tragedy and loss, and we hope that our work honors the past and helps church members step toward the future.” †