“We’ve lost a staff member,” said Thornton. “Noel Sparks. She and her mom have been a part of Calvary since she was 15, and she has now stepped into the presence of the Lord. It has been heavy for us, there have been some tears shed, we’ve had some tough conversations.”
"A number of our families have been directly affected” by the shooting, which claimed the lives of a dozen victims and several more injured, Thornton added.
“We want you to know we are praying,” Thornton said of the prayer vigils and worship services the church will host over the next few days. “We are actively seeking to minister to our community and to be here for them and for you.”
Brian Howard, another of the church's pastors, encouraged prayer for those who survived the shooting and asked that they would “have faith and hope,” referring to 1 Corinthians. He urged viewers to pray that those affected by the shooting would come to know that “healing really does come through the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Finally, that they would have love,” Howard said. “Love for one another and the hurting and the broken. That they would know the love of God in Christ for them in this moment.”