Whitesboro pastor back from El Paso trip - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Whitesboro pastor back from El Paso trip

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Whitesboro pastor Mike Flanagan helped counsel El Paso residents who are reeling from the mass shooting at a Walmart. (KTEN) Whitesboro pastor Mike Flanagan helped counsel El Paso residents who are reeling from the mass shooting at a Walmart. (KTEN)

WHITESBORO, Texas -- A Whitesboro pastor who is also a chaplain is back from his trip to El Paso.

 “It was a very challenging week emotionally for me, but God is good and provided the resources I needed to do what I needed to do to get through that time,” said pastor Mike Flanagan.

Pastor Flanagan works at Whitesboro’s First Baptist Church. He spent eight days in El Paso. He went with three other chaplains as part of the Texas Southern Baptist Convention. Their goal: be a listening ear and share God’s love.

“People were very open to come up and talk to us, so at the mall we just walked around and talked to people that were there when it happened, employees, and just kind of our leading line when we visit with someone is we just want them to tell us their story,” he said.

At the hotel they were staying at, a maintenance man had lost his grandson in the shooting and his son was shot.

“And then he invited us to go to the hospital where his son was and so we got to go in and minister to his family, including the mother that had lost her son,” said Flanagan.

The four chaplains spent their first day at the mall located next to the Walmart where the shooting took place. They spent several days at the memorial for the victims behind the Walmart.

“There were just hundreds if not thousands of people out there every day during the time we were there,” said Flanagan.

What surprised Flanagan was the sense of community the people had even in such a large city.

“Grown men standing there weeping and as I would approach them I’d ask ‘Did you have a family member involved in the shooting?’ That’d be the first thing I thought. ‘No.’ ‘Did you have some friends or co-workers?’ ‘No I didn’t know anybody. It just hurts me because this is my city and this is not who we are,” recalled Flanagan.

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