Dallas

Dallas Church Holds Prayer Service for Two Nashville Mass Shooting Victims

Park Cities Presbyterian Church connected to two victims

Park Cities Presbyterian Church held a prayer service Tuesday afternoon to honor the daughter of its former pastor and the sister of a beloved church member who were killed Monday in the Nashville school shooting.
NBCDFW.com

Park Cities Presbyterian Church held a prayer service Tuesday afternoon to honor the daughter of its former pastor and the sister of a beloved church member who were killed Monday in the Nashville school shooting.

“We realized that the substitute teacher there, Cindy Peak, who was killed, is the sister of one of our members as well. And so that just added another layer of heartbreak for our community,” said Mark Davis, senior pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian Church. “It was rich, it was beautiful, but lots of tears, lots of sorrow, lots of grieving, all appropriate, you know, because this is a horrible tragedy.”

Cynthia Peak was a 61-year-old substitute teacher for the Covenant School in Nashville. In a statement Tuesday, TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. said Peak was an education major in the Class of 1983.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life at The Covenant School in Nashville. The Horned Frog family mourns the death of our alumna, Cynthia Broyles Peak, class of 1983 education major. Our prayers for peace and comfort are with her family and loved ones, as well as the entire Nashville community," Boschini Jr. said.

Cindy Peak

More than a thousand people filled the pews of the Dallas church Tuesday to pray for their sister church in Nashville.

“We're here because we weep with our friends and we're grieving,” said Paul Goebel, associate pastor of Park Cities Presbyterian Church.

They mourn the loss of one of their youngest friends, 9-year-old Hallie Scruggs who grew up in the church community.

“The first year Chad came on staff in 2013, was the year Hallie was born, and so, she was baptized in our church,” Davis said. “She's part of the life of this church, and that's why so many people were here today, because they love that family, because they were loved well, by that family.”

Chad served as associate pastor from 2013 to 2018. He is the current lead pastor at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

“Chad and I spoke on the phone yesterday afternoon, even before I knew that his daughter was one of the three children that died," Davis said. "Later, I heard about that, and we were able to speak around 3:30 yesterday afternoon and had a great conversation just about how they're doing, how they're processing everything."

“As a matter of fact, our Sunday school class, the ladies, we took turns babysitting for her so her mom, Jada, could drive, carpool and pick up her boys at school,” said Rebecca Lutz, a longtime member of Park Cities and knew Hallie.

The Scruggs family had visited Dallas in early February as part of a church event.

“I just got to see her again. Chad was our Winter Grace speaker several weeks ago, and the whole family came. And I didn't get to see everybody because they were all spread out. But I got to see Hallie and it was precious, and we were so happy about that,” Lutz said.

"All the kids were here. And it was her first time back as a family since they had left altogether. So, I saw her from a distance," Davis said.

Davis hopes to continue offering a space of prayer and healing for the community as they head into Holy Week.

“God shows the bond that a community of faith has, and our faith is in Christ. And we feel deeply the pain that others are going through,” Davis said. "We're going to do the things that we normally do, the rhythms of the church to come together, to open the word of God, to pray to Christ and heal. We are honest about the pain and the suffering in the sin in this world, but also about the hope that we have. So, those two things keep us rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Davis hopes to travel to Nashville for Hallie’s funeral however, as of Tuesday afternoon, those details have not been finalized.

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