A mere 35 days after the Las Vegas massacre, while the nation was still grieving, a gunman opened fire on the group of innocent parishioners at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Twenty-six are reported dead – some as young as five-years-old – including the church’s pastor’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle.

On Monday, Pastor Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri, spoke out for the first time since the tragedy. You can watch the heart-wrenching comments below.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy: My wife put together something this morning on the internet – on her Facebook page – that I thought eloquently grabbed exactly what we were thinking. We’ve had a long night with our children and grand-babies we have left – and she’s going to share this with you.

Sherri Pomeroy: Frank and I want to say thank you to all the outpouring of love for our family from family friends and completely strangers. I especially wanted to say thank you to American Airlines, who took great care of me all the way from Florida, and my angel flight buddy Chris, wherever you are.

News media have been bombarding us with requests to share and comment and appear to celebrate Annabelle’s life. However, as much tragedy as that entails for our family, we don’t want to overshadow the other lives lost yesterday. We lost more than Belle yesterday, and one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family that she loved fiercely. And vice versa.

Our church was not comprised of members or parishioners. We were a very close family. We ate together, we laughed together, we cried together and we worship together. Now most of our church family is gone. Our building is probably beyond repair. And the few of us that are left behind lost tragically yesterday.

As senseless as this tragedy was, our sweet Belle would not have been able to deal with losing so much family yesterday. Please don’t forget Sutherland Springs.

Thank you.

Pastor Pomeroy: And as the other pastor said, lift this name in Christ. Everything’s in Christ.