Spiritual Warfare & The Texas Church Massacre in Sutherland Springs by Pastor David Mitchell

I have been asked by TRADEway students to speak about the Texas church massacre.   I will attempt to put my many thoughts into a few words, yet these words cannot begin to rise to the occasion, as we think about the irreparable ruin brought to these families in their earthly existence, and to the community of Sutherland Springs, Texas, and what all this says about our poor, dying nation.

 On Sunday, November 5, 2017, a lost, secularized, government school and U.S. military-trained man, given over to a reprobate mind, demonized, with “no hope, and without God in the world,” walked into a rural Texas church and left 26 dead, including an unborn child, twenty other church members injured, some irreparably, including 10 in critical condition.

 On that morning, this young government-trained secular demoniac destroyed three generations of one family.  Joe and Claryce Holcombe lost children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

 Their son, Bryan Holcombe, 60, and his wife, Karla Holcombe, 58, were killed.  Bryan was an associate pastor for the church and was stepping up to the pulpit to preach when he was shot.  Their granddaughter-in-law, Crystal Holcombe, who was eight months pregnant, died along with her unborn child and three of her other children, Emily, Megan and Greg.  She had been at church with her husband, John Holcombe, who survived along with two of her other children.

 Joe and Claryce’s son, Marc, 36, was also killed along with his 1-year-old daughter, Noah.  This man was implacable, slaughtering babies, pregnant women, elderly women, helpless children, moms, dads, grandparents, pastors and pastors’ children with no conscience remaining.

 Crystal Holcombe, who home schooled her children,  “...Was a breath of fresh air.   She loved children. ... She had a full house and just seemed to take to it beautifully.”

 Haley Krueger, 16, died in the shooting, according to her mother, who said:

 "My daughter was amazing. The perfect 16-year-old girl....  She was entertaining everywhere she went.... She had a great future ahead of her and she was excited to begin....  I hardly ever went anywhere without her.”

 Uhl said on her last morning with her teenage daughter, "I told her, 'I love you,' and 'I’ll see you later.'  That’s what we always said, every time she left.   She wouldn’t ever leave without kissing me goodbye, or at night, giving me millions of kisses," Uhl said.  "That was just Haley, she was very loving. And she was always there."

 Tara McNulty, 33, was killed in the shooting, according to her close friend, who posted on Facebook about her death:

"My best friend, my soul sister... I love you so much. My heart is broken," she wrote.

 Frank Pomeroy, pastor at the church, was out of town with his wife, Sherry, but their 14 year old daughter Annabelle Renae, stayed home and went to church.  She was shot dead, and in an instant taken away from her loving parents and ushered into the heavenlies.

 Annabelle “was one very beautiful, special child,” Pastor Pomeroy told ABC News by phone.

 The pastor's wife, Sherry, said at a news conference, "We lost more than Annabelle yesterday, and one thing that gives me a sliver of encouragement is the fact that Belle was surrounded yesterday by her church family that she loved fiercely."

 The church family was very close, Sherry Pomeroy said.

"We ate together, we laughed together, we cried together, and we worshiped together. Now most of our church family is gone. Our building is probably beyond repair," she said. "As senseless as this tragedy was our sweet Belle would not have been able to deal with losing so much family yesterday. Please don’t forget Sutherland Springs."[1]

 We will never forget Sutherland Springs.  

 My thoughts and the facts available, have lead me to a few conclusions concerning the slaughter of innocents in Texas.   Foremost in my mind has been the Biblical “law of sowing and reaping.”  What has America sown?   We have taken prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments out of our schools, and have secularized our children.   We have replaced God’s creation with evolution, teaching our children that they are animals.  We have replaced Biblical parenting (strict discipline, with love), with humanistic permissive parenting.   Poor parenting has led to drug abuse, and sexual immorality.   All of these were perhaps contributing factors in the creation of this monster, from a physical viewpoint.   None of this was the fault of the people of Sutherland Springs, who had attempted to distance their lives from Sodom, by living in a small town America.  But the reaping came from out of town, and visited their church last Sunday.

 Spiritual warfare, and the influence of Satan, and his demons upon (and within) those who use drugs and are involved in immoral sexual activity, who perhaps delve into the occult, and who have not been disciplined and loved properly in the home, and who never pray or hear God’s Word at school—any one of these or any combination could be  the main cause of this horrific slaughter.   On top of this, in my opinion, God’s general displeasure with America’s moral state, and that of our leaders could be a contributing factor.   I say this, again, with absolutely no reference to guilt on the part of the dear Christian people who died or were hurt in this tragedy.   Their fault is no different than ours, and not all that dissimilar from righteous Lot’s in the Bible—living near Sodom.  As a matter of fact the folks of Sutherland Springs had made an attempt to distance themselves from Sodom by living in small town America, in the Bible belt!

 My first instinct was to blame the secularization of America, by our misguided government leaders.  Anyone who examines the historical documents of this Nation knows we are in fact a nation whose foundations were based upon the Bible and prayer.

 My thoughts in the early hours of hearing this terrible story went immediately to the reaping and sowing effect of taking the Ten Commandments, the Bible, and prayer out of our schools in 1962 and 1963 (fifty-five years ago). 

 On June 25,1962, when prayer was removed from all public classrooms in the U.S., the invocation in question in the court case was one that had been approved by the New York State Board of Regents.

 The prayer read:


“Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.” [2]

 Of course, this was only the beginning.  It was in 1963 that the court banned Bible reading and overturned a state law banning the teaching of evolution.

 Within a two-year period, we allowed our government (of the people, for the people) to forbid ALL public school children to study their Bible at school and with a teacher, and to pray to God and ask God to:


·      Acknowledge their dependence upon God

·      Ask God to bless them (which would, no doubt, include protection)

·      Ask God to bless their parents (which would no doubt cause them to be stricter and more loving disciplinarians)

·      Ask God to bless their teachers (which would no doubt have caused fewer of them to be cursed by believing in evolution)

·      And to Ask God to bless their nation (...and we see the results of a famine of this prayer).

 From the creation of our nation until 1962 there were 115 students killed in schools, and this included 10 killed by an Indian attack.  This is an average number of deaths of 0.58/year.[3]

 From 1962 until now there have been an average number of deaths in schools of 8.65/year.  That number doesn’t look that large until you consider that this is a 1,491% increase in deaths after we took prayer out of the schools!

 More telling is this:  since 1980 we have averaged about 90 students killed in schools per year in America.[4] 

 This is a 15,517% increase in deaths per year over the average from 1776 to 1962!

 When we ask God to take His hand off things, apparently sometimes He does so.   Look where man goes when God’s restraining hand is removed due to lack of prayer and America’s disregard for God’s protection.


Romans 1:28–29

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not [becoming];

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder.... Romans 1:30–31

30 ...Haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding...without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:


This is a perfect description of the killer who visited Sutherland Springs.

...Then add into that the sowing and reaping effect of teaching children since 1963 that they are evolved animals, while at the same time removing the Ten Commandments (including, “Thou Shalt Not Kill!”), and look what we reap—an animal.

The results are impossible to hide.  There has been a 1,500% increase in deaths at schools since children were required to stop asking for God’s blessings there.

The Supreme Court’s ruling was released on June 25, 1962, and found New York’s law unconstitutional by a margin of 6–1 (two justices did not participate in the decision).  The lone dissent came from Potter Stewart, who argued that the majority had “misapplied a great constitutional principle” and could not understand “how an ‘official religion’ is established by letting those who want to say a prayer say it. On the contrary, I think to deny the wish of these school children to join in reciting this prayer is to deny them the opportunity of sharing in the spiritual heritage of our Nation.”

Justice Potter Stewart was correct, they were denied the opportunity of sharing in the spiritual heritage of our nation—but more importantly, they were denied the opportunity to ASK GOD ALMIGHTY TO BLESS THEM while at school!   The lack of prayer and Bible study in public schools, together with the teaching of the insane theory of evolution, and total secularization of the schools has contributed to the raising of unwholesome children, who can turn into demonized slaughtering monsters in the hands of Satan.

Then my thoughts also went to the many books written demonizing strict and proper (and loving) child discipline in the home.   Yet the ONE book which can speak with authority on how to raise wholesome children, who become good citizens as young adults, HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE SCHOOLS!   The Bible teaches this about proper discipline, including spankings:


Proverbs 10:13

13 In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: But a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.


Proverbs 13:24

24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: But he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (often).


Proverbs 23:13–14

13 Withhold not correction from the child: For if thou [spank] him with the rod, he shall not die.

14 Thou shalt [spank] him with the rod, And shalt deliver his soul from hell.


As we see details about the shooter, he had disciplinary problems in high school, and was sent to reform school for two months due to a drug charge.   He was suspended twice as a junior and three times as a senior for "insubordination," ''profane language/gestures" and "dishonest/false records."  His grades fell every year while in school.

A friend from school, Kelly Huckaby, said she lost contact with Kelley until he responded to a Facebook post she made in April asking for a place to stay for her and her boyfriend.  She said Kelley offered to let them stay in a trailer on his property if she performed weekly "sexual favors" for him.[5]

The shooter had all the ingredients for a demonized person—poor discipline in his young life, no prayer or Bible study at school, drug abuse, and sexual immorality.   America had decided to elect politicians, who would appoint judges, who would take God out of the schools, and now she reaps what she has sown.  

It is entirely possible that this young man had lived his whole life in America and never heard, “Thou shalt not kill.”

He shot and killed 26 people, including an unborn child.  He shot and wounded twenty other church members, 10 critically, and many with permanent injuries that will affect them the rest of their lives, not to mention the mental trauma that they will also carry with them for a lifetime.

We thank the Lord that this happened in a state with few gun controls. Two citizens, one armed with a rifle, stopped the carnage (crazed shooters don’t like being shot at) by firing at the man, who dropped his gun and ran.  This is perhaps why twenty were only injured, because certainly the monster’s design was to kill every single living person in the room!   So much for gun control advocates.  They would have had 20 more dead bodies on their hands if they had their way, and the good guys could not have a gun, but then THIS IS TEXAS, praise, God, the greatest nation in the world! :)  Twenty lives were saved by citizens carrying guns legally.

It is interesting that for purposes of gathering evidence, our (Texas) government counts the unborn child as a human being, murdered.  Yet at the same time our (Federal) government takes our tax dollars and uses it to slay other unborn children.  God is patient, long-suffering, and full of mercy, but He will not hold back his wrath forever.

How does TRADEway fit into the sad story of America?  One of our goals as a company is “...To create as many good millionaires as possible to change the power structures in this country.”  You and I together, as we increase our collective monetary power, can put that money into changing the political climate, the message coming out of our colleges, and high schools, the hidden false philosophies taught by Hollywood and the music industry, and on and on.  We can take back the country, perhaps.   All of this must be undergirded by prayer and Bible Study.  We must be praying for the regeneration of millions of the American lost, which is all that can make a nation great again. 

A second, and more important goal of our company is to cause Americans to experience a renewed revival in the area of Bible Study and a personal walk with the Lord.   We must all be salt and light.

We encourage people across the country to become free to seek the Truth, through practicing the ten rules of proper Bible interpretation, with an honest heart, and by the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

Let us never forget that the actions we take, and allow our leaders to take, have very real consequences that affect us all.  We need to provide more constant and consecrated guidance for our leaders, and insist that they act upon it.

Our prayers are with Sutherland Springs, and America, and our leaders.  Lord, grant special grace to those who have lost loved ones and are feeling the curse of this world deep in their bones.   God keeps giving us wake up calls, will we listen?  I believe many in God’s church ARE listening.  I want to give you two great exhortations that were placed in the Scripture by the Holy Spirit especially for those of us who are living in these end times:


Luke 21:28–36

28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;

30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


2 Timothy 3:16–4:8

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Our prayers are with you First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, and with your entire community.   May God’s grace and mercy and love and provision pour out on you as you have been attacked by His enemy and ours.  May He work all things together for good to you who love Him, and are called according to His Purpose!  May He mend your hearts and minds.

Our prayers are with our government leaders who are tempted to focus on the symptom rather than the disease—we need to get prayer and Bible Study and the Ten Commandments back on the walls of our government schools—we should demand it, as good citizens!  When we had 0.5 children killed per year we had guns.  When we had 90/yr killed, we had guns.   That never changed.  What changed is that we took prayer and the Bible out of the schools in 1962.   It is not difficult to see how to fix this.


[1] Ibid.

[2] Today Marks the 50th Anniversary of the Prayer Ban in Public Schools

By Billy Hallowell

The Blaze





[3] List of school shootings in the United States





[4] Since 1980, 297 People Have Been Killed in School Shootings

By Chris Kirk






[5] Authorities review video of small-town Texas church attack

By Jim Vertuno and Emily Schmall

AP  11/8/17