NEW BRAUNFELS - This Sunday's service at First Baptist Church of New Braunfels was the first without 13 of its most dedicated members.
It was a packed sanctuary as the beloved victims of Wednesday's bus crash were honored.
"Our family members who lost their physical life last Wednesday are wonderfully alive in Christ," Brad McLean, Pastor of First Baptist Church of New Braunfels said.
The church lost 13 of its members in a deadly head-on crash as they made their way home from a retreat.
"We do gather with a heavy heart this morning," McLean said, "We gather with those who are among immediate family members."
"They bragged on not only their church family, but their friends, of people that were there and people who weren't there, and how their church family just lifted them up in times of need," Billy Barnes, Senior Adult Pastor of First Baptist Church of New Braunfels said.
A truck spotted swerving across the highway moments before hit the church bus head-on off Highway 83 near Concan.
One person on the bus survived. That was Rose Mary Harris.
She was taken to the hospital and her condition is improving as of Sunday afternoon.
The driver of the white Dodge Dually that crashed in to church bus, 20-year-old Jack Dillon Young, is in fair condition at the hospital.
"Our pain is real. Our loss is real. Our grief is real," McLean said.
The effect of this tragedy on other countries is also very real.
Pastor McLean said support from as far away as Norway and Germany poured in, along with overwhelming amounts from the local community.
First Baptist set up a Tragedy Relief Fund to accept donations for the families of the 13 victims.
Members of the public who want to express their sympathies, volunteer or donate food are encouraged to utilize the Support Message Board on the church's website at FBCNB.org
Video of Sunday's service was provided to KENS 5 by First Baptist Church of New Braunfels.
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