Members discuss healing 5 yrs after Knoxville church shooting

Church members discuss healing 5 years after Knoxville church shooting

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Saturday marks five years since a deadly shooting at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. Saturday marks five years since a deadly shooting at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.
"The last five years every day brings it further and further away but each new shooting brings it back for the day," said church member Marty Murphy. "The last five years every day brings it further and further away but each new shooting brings it back for the day," said church member Marty Murphy.
Jim Adkisson pleaded guilty to opening fire at the church. Jim Adkisson pleaded guilty to opening fire at the church.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Saturday marks five years since a deadly shooting at a Knoxville church.

Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger were killed. Six others were wounded. In 2009 Jim Adkisson, pleaded guilty to opening fire at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. He is serving life in prison. Five years later church members are still healing.

Marty Murphy has been going to the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church since the 1970s. She became a member in 1999 and was in attendance five years ago when the gunman opened fire. She says the shooting changed her life but time has helped eased the pain.

"The last five years every day brings it further and further away but each new shooting brings it back for the day," said Murphy.

Murphy says she still vividly remembers the shooting even though five years have passed.

"You could see the spray of the gun and the smoke but I can still see that clear as day for sure," said Murphy.

Saturday at the church there was time for members to come in, pray and reflect on what happened five years ago. Reverend Jenny Arthur was the administrator of the church at the time of the shooting. She says slowly but surely the church family is healing and looking to the future.

"This year as we offer small groups we are hearing stories of people recognizing their increased empathy for others who are victims of violence, a greater gratitude for life in general and a great compassion for people," said Reverend Jenny Arthur.

But it wasn't only church members impacted by the act of violence, the community as a whole felt the effects as well. Cammy Glover lives just down the road from the church she says the tragedy will never be forgotten.

"Our hearts go out to those families and I don't think you can ever not go by that church and remember that tragedy," said Glover.

"The reality is we have today. Yesterday is gone and the only thing we have is the present so you might as well try and do as good as you can and be as good as you can and smile," said Murphy.

During the Sunday service Reverend Arthur says there will be a prayer of reflection for those impacted by the shooting.

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