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TN Pastor Returns to Pulpit Months After Daughter Killed in Mass Shooting

By Colleen Houde
On May 14, 2023, Pastor Chad Scruggs preaches at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn. (Video screengrab)

A pastor whose daughter was fatally shot in a mass shooting at a Nashville elementary school in March has returned to the pulpit.

On Monday, March 27, 28-year-old Audrey Hale entered The Covenant School and went on a rampage killing three adults and three children, including  9-year-old Hallie Scruggs, the daughter of Pastor Chad Scruggs.

On Mother’s Day, May 14, Pastor Scruggs preached an emotional sermon titled ‘Loss and Gain’.

“First of all, we love you,” said Pastor Scruggs to his congregation. “We loved you before March 27, and we love you more now because of how you have loved us . . . and we thank you.”

He was asked how the family is doing, and his response was, ‘That’s not a bad question, but we just don’t know how to answer that.’

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scruggs pastor pulpit
Pastor Chad Scruggs and family (Courtesy image)

Leading into his sermon, Scruggs preached from John 19:23-27, bringing up the women who stayed by Jesus’ side while he was crucified.

Scruggs says it has been a struggle for his wife and three sons to move on from this tragedy.

“We aren’t yet soaring on wings like eagles. We aren’t yet running without being weary. We’re simply trying to walk without fainting,” said Pastor Scruggs in his sermon.

He says they are trying to find their new normal.

“A strong confidence in the end of the story does not undo or justify the absence of grief in the middle. A mature faith adds its tears to the sadness in our world. Jesus said, ‘Blessed are those who mourn’ all the while not losing confidence in how that sadness will eventually be overcome in Him.”

Pastor Chad and his family continue to ask for privacy as they conquer the road that lies ahead.

This article was originally published by CHVN.

Journalist Colleen Houde is a news writer and on-air host at CHVN in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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