Dadeville High School students returned to school Aug. 4, but they didn’t have to walk into a new school year alone. Area pastors and ministry leaders greeted students, faculty and staff when they entered the school that morning.
“Our goal was to let them know that we are there for them,” Ben Hayes, pastor of First Baptist Church Dadeville, explained.
It’s been a long journey for the community since the April 15 mass shooting that killed four and injured 32, one of whom is permanently paralyzed, but the church families continue to minister.
Around $65,000 has been disbursed to help cover medical and funeral costs, Hayes noted.
“For the most part, students and families are ready to move forward, but we are concerned about emotional and mental health of some,” Hayes said, noting a few of the teens remain under the care of counselors and physical therapists.
Fred Hutcherson, pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Dadeville, predicted back in April the community would stand with the kids.
“We are going through something we never thought we would see. The city is hurting,” he said.
“We are a village that will show love in the midst of these trying times,” said Hutcherson, who also serves as an agent with the State Bureau of Investigation.