Thursday night hundreds gathered at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs to pray for the victims and their families.
Some of the victims from Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland belonged to the church. The pastor announced the first victim will be buried as early as Monday.
Community members came from across South Florida to attend the Thursday night vigil where it was clear that love was more powerful than hate and the power of prayer helped ease the pain.
“When I heard 17, my heart dropped. I almost threw up,” said one mother who traveled from Weston with her daughter to attend the service. “It hit us really hard, really close to home. So we’re here to support the community."
The service beautifully honored the 17 lives lost just one day earlier. As each of the victims’ names flashed across the screen, a new candle was lit.
“I spent the better part of the afternoon talking with a dad and a mom and a second dad and a mom who’s boys didn’t come home yesterday,” said the pastor.
The unity was echoed by the words front and center on stage that read “#ParklandStrong."