Holcombe Family: “We’re Strong” Despite 9 Family Members Murdered During Texas Church Massacre

Members of the Wilson County Sheriff's office stand just inside taped off area near the First Baptist Church where a shooting left many dead and injured in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (REUTERS/Sergio Flores)

A usual response to a horrific tragedy is anger, resentment and judgement. But this is not the case for the Holcombe family. Three generations of the Holcombe clan died during the mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday.

Joe and Claryce Holcombe lost a total of nine family members. All at once, Joe and Claryce, who attend a different Baptist church in nearby Floresville, Texas, lost children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a future great-grandchild.

According to reports, the elderly couple’s son Bryan Holcombe, an associate pastor for the church, was killed in the gunfire while preparing to lead the congregation in worship. His wife, Karla Holcombe was also killed. Their son, Marc Daniel Holcombe, 36, was also hit and killed. His infant daughter, who was just a year old, is dead as well.

Another son of Joe and Claryce, John Holcombe, survived the shooting, but his pregnant wife Crystal did not make it. John and Crystal had five children but three of them died. The two others survived. Authorities reveal that the Holcombes were 9 (including the unborn child) of the 26 that were killed in the mass shooting.

But despite what happened to the big family, Joe, 86, told Faithwire that they did not allow the tragedy to discourage them in their faith. He also stated that he and his wife “are very close to God.” He also said, “we’re strong” and that they believe they will be with Bryan and his wife and the entire family one of these days.

“It’s of course going to be difficult,” Joe said. But, he said, “we are Christians; we have read the book. We know the ending, and it’s good.”

“They’re in heaven,” he added. “And they’re a lot better off than we are.”


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