Collierville Church Service Honors Victims and First Responders of Kroger Mass Shooting


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A congregation in Collierville gathered to pray for those affected by Thursday’s deadly shooting.

The congregation inside the Collierville Central Church prayed for understanding after the disturbing act of violence last week.

“When we don’t understand time, we have to go back to the character of who God is,” Pastor Matthew Shackelford said.

Shackelford says the Collierville Kroger, where Uk Thang shot and killed Olivia King and injured 14 others, really hit home.

“It was my Kroger. This was the store where my family shopped. This is where my son does his shopping,” Shackelford said.

Without hesitation, he and other members of his church responded on Thursday, just moments after chaos ripped through the community.

“It was a remarkable moment, where it felt like we had to make it happen,” Shackelford said.

Amid the devastation, Shackelford prayed for healing, peace, and for Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane.

“We actually had it in church last Sunday, incredibly,” Shackleford said. “We prayed for him last Sunday not knowing all of this was going to happen.”

During this time of tragedy, church members like Betty Tindall say they felt compelled to unite, saying prayer has power.

“This community really stands behind each other,” Tindall said. “It’s a really strong community.”

The pastor and parishioners say this service is needed more than ever. They add that although their sense of security has been shaken, their faith remains unwavering.

“In uncertain times you must come back to the certainty of God,” Shackelford said.

Shackelford says he and others at Central Church will be readily available to anyone who needs prayer.


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