Collierville church service honors victims and first responders of mass Kroger shooting

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

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

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

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

“It was my Kroger. This was the store where my family did their shopping. 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 made its way into the community.

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

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

“We had him at church last Sunday, unbelievably,” Shackelford said. “We prayed for him last Sunday not knowing this was all going to happen.”

During this time of tragedy, church members like Betty Tindall say they felt compelled to come together, saying there is power in prayer.

“This community really stands behind the rest,” Tindall said. “It’s a very strong community.

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

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

Shackelford says he and others at the Central Church will be readily available to anyone in need of prayer.

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