CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – The Redeemed Church of God in Chesapeake held a memorial service Saturday afternoon to remember the lives lost in the Nov. 22nds Walmart shooting.
When you zoom in on one of the biggest tragic stories in the nation this year, you’ll find a compilation of smaller personal stories that have deeply affected dozens of families in Hampton Roads.
“Years ago when the Walmart in Grassfield opened I was working there; it kinda made me think oh no this could have been me,” said Denise Stephens who is a former Walmart employee and a current member of Redeemed Church of God.
Phyllis Belangia is the church’s Associate Pastor and also has ties to those who responded to the shooting.
“My daughter-in-law works for the police department in Chesapeake. She is a supervisor of dispatch and she was called out right around 10:20, or so, with SWAT and so she was involved the whole night,” said Belangia.
The pastor of the church, Charles Hughes, offered a eulogy for each life lost while members of the congregation will offer expressions of hope and healing.
“This is a terrible grief,” explained Hughes. “When people lose loved ones, I can tell you for a fact it’s hard, but we’ll be here for them.”
For those still feeling the weight of the loss, Hughes offered this advice.
“Lean on the lord and go to him,” he said in an interview with 10 On Your Side. “That spirit that deals with us, it gives us the answer if we trust him. Otherwise, we have people we can talk to and they can do what man can do, but they can’t do what the lord can do.”
The service was open to the public. Redeemed Church of God wants those impacted to know their doors will continue to stay open.
“It is open to anybody anywhere that wants to come. It doesn’t matter your denomination; it doesn’t matter anything. Come one; come all,” said Stephens.
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