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Carthage church holds grief counseling program

Posted April 2, 2009
Updated April 3, 2009

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— The First Baptist Church began a program Thursday to help the community deal with Sunday's shooting deaths at Pinelake Health and Rehab Center.

“It’s going to be really important for all of us to be available, to be visible and to be part of the healing that needs to take place,” said Wayne Adams of First Baptist Church.

On Sunday, a gunman shot and killed eight people and wounded three people at the nursing home in Carthage in Moore County. Carthage police officer Justin Garner, 25, stopped the gunman with a single shot to the chest.

Carthage church holds grief counseling program Church holds grief program in Carthage

The accused gunman, Robert Stewart, faces eight counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony assault on a law enforcement officer.

Every Thursday this month at the church, Sandhills Mental Health will facilitate a grief counseling program that will include law enforcement, elected officials and members of the faith community. The programs will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the church, 108 McNeil St.

“Most people are still in shock or denial,” Sandhills counselor Mark Marquez said.

Carthage resident Kristina Greene said the shooting has left her feeling uncomfortable in a town where she has never felt that way before.

“It’s such a small community,” Greene said. “Everybody I know has been affected one way or another.”

Around town, white ribbons are used as symbols of hope for a community trying to recapture its small-town feel.

“March 29 is a day I never imagined would happen in my quiet peaceful town of Carthage,” Mayor Ronnie Fields said while attending the program.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Apr 6, 2009

    Are these church folks actually QUALIFIED to be counselors?

    How many have been to school for social work, pyschology and other real counseling professions? It just seems that if all you have is a hammer (faith) then everything looks like a nail (get more faith) - and their solution for every person will be the same - "Our god works is mysterious ways. Come by every Sunday and worship him."

    I hope that people who are experiencing real grief will seek qualified, unbiased & professional help. No it's not free, but you get what you pay for and we're talking about our mental stability. What's more important in our lives?

  • TheLibertine Apr 3, 2009

    They should be holding conceal carry classes so the citizens of Carthage never have another psycho walk into any part of their community without knowing there will be exacting consequences for behaviors that threaten the well being of others.