After church shooting, Fort Worth’s Wedgwood Baptist looks back on its own tragedy

FORT WORTH -- As hell was breaking loose in a house of God in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sunday, memories were jolted to life in Fort Worth's Wedgwood Baptist Church.

"Even after 18 years, it's a reminder, and those feelings come back," Wedgwood Associate Pastor Jeff Laster told NewsFix Monday.

Wedgwood doesn't just empathize as a fellow church. They've been through it.

"He just walked in, and I was within 10 feet and just about to welcome him," Laster remembered. "He just pulled out a 9mm and shot me twice without ever really any explanation or warning or anything."

That day, September 15, 1999, seven people were killed (four of them teens) and seven others were injured at Wedgwood. Laster was in the hospital for more than a month, saying he lost more than half his blood, but Wedgwood was back in session the very next Sunday with a message of hope.

"Even Jesus, the founder of our faith, was crucified," then Pastor, Al Meredith, told his congregation that day. "Bad things do happen to good people, but God works them together for good."

"The Bible talks about how you need to go through something so that others can go through it," Laster echoed Monday. "That's been the big blessing of being at Wedgwood is being able to help others go through something like this."

Wedgwood is pledging to be there for First Baptist in Sutherland Springs because they know that healing takes a lot more than mending some wounds.

If you'd like to hear the full sermon Pastor Al Meredith gave Sept. 19, 1999, you can find it here: