SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (RNS) — After the mass shooting at First Baptist Church, a command center was needed to help investigators, disaster relief teams and families of the dead.

So the town turned to the only other civic institution here capable of handling it all — another Baptist church.

In Sutherland Springs, a crossroads hamlet with one flashing red light, two gas station/convenience stories and a Dollar General store, churches are the bedrock of the community. That’s where life is lived and people are cared for.

Within 24 hours of the shooting that left more than two dozen people dead and many

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