Congregation Mourns And Looks To The Future

For some, it was another service--a worship service.  In many ways, it was Sunday as usual.  The service started at the same time, in the same place, and many of the faces were the same, but the atmosphere was different.

"We have a church that's hurting," said the guest preacher, Larry Morgan.  Morgan, a missionary, is also Pastor Shane Morgan's father.

"Shane was the type of young man that loved people, and the church loved him."  Amid prayers and hugs, members of Hilltop Baptist Church comforted each other, remembering the man they called pastor, brother and son.

"I needed special grace because it's not an easy thing for me at this time," said Morgan.  Sunday, he chose to speak about Lazarus.

"It has to do with the death of a friend, and the fact that the Lord had a purpose in that death, and the will of God should be our only concern at this time," said Morgan.  Even in mourning, some said it was a time to celebrate the life and dedication of their pastor.

"He would have been pleased to see the church pews filled this morning," said church secretary Charlotte Miller.  She said Pastor Morgan he would have emphasized the true purpose of the service.

"We need to go forward," said Miller.  "We need to realize that Shane was here to lead us to the Lord."

"He would encourage the church even more than he already has to stand upon the biblical principals," said Morgan.  They're principals the church hopes can unite them and comfort them in the days to come.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.