Church Mourns Loss After Virginia Beach Shooting

The community in Virginia Beach, Va., is mourning the loss of 12 people who died in a mass shooting at an office building on Friday (May 31). photo

A Virginia Baptist church is mourning the loss of one of its own in the wake of a mass shooting that left 12 dead in a Virginia Beach office building on Friday (May 31).

The tragedy also opened the door for Virginia pastor David Platt to share the Gospel as he prayed over President Donald Trump during an unexpected visit from Washington, D.C., to nearby McLean Bible Church in Vienna on Sunday morning (June 2).

In Virginia Beach, former London Bridge Baptist Church member Herbert “Bert” Snelling was shot and killed as DeWayne Craddock made his way through Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, opening fire on his former colleagues. Craddock, a veteran city engineer, had emailed his resignation letter that morning, and his boss — Richard H. Nettleton — was found among the dead. Craddock too died in a shootout with police, leaving authorities still searching for a motive for the massacre, according to CNN.

Greg Brinson, pastor of London Bridge Baptist Church, told those present at a prayer vigil June 1 that he has been in Virginia Beach for more than 30 years and “the last 26 hours have been the worst I can remember.”

His church welcomed the community to gather and pray that night for friends and neighbors affected by the tragedy.

Snelling’s family was among those. Snelling was a member of the London Bridge Baptist congregation before joining another church in the area. He was known as a devoted follower of Jesus, a loving husband and a committed community member.

A contractor, Snelling had used his skills for London Bridge Baptist’s local and international missions efforts, building houses in Guatemala and doing home and roof repairs locally. He was the only victim who wasn’t a city employee — he was in the municipal building to get a permit that day, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Brian Autry, executive director of the SBC of Virginia, said he and other Baptists “continue to pray for all of the families impacted by the shooting and that God will provide comfort and peace that only He can provide.”

In the hours and days since the shooting, pastors and lay chaplains have mobilized to Virginia Beach and the larger region to offer ministry to grieving families and the community, Autry said.

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Source: Baptist Press