Pulse massacre anniversary: Healing the hearts and souls of a community

One year after the worst mass shooting in the history of a nation, First Baptist Orlando (FBO) is reflecting on how the event changed them as individuals, as a church and as a city. Three worship services held Sunday, June 11, included families of the victims and survivors of the brutal terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub just south of downtown Orlando.

It was May 12, 2016, when Omar Mateen, 29, of Port St. Lucie, Florida, reportedly made calls to 911 early Sunday stating his allegiance to ISIS as he made his way to Pulse. Pulse was known as a gay nightclub and that night was themed “Hispanic Night.” The murderous shots rang out around 2 a.m. and at one point Mateen went outside, shot at law enforcement and went back inside the club. Three hours later, at around 5 a.m., the SWAT team went in and killed Mateen according to The Associated Press reports. Mateen’s victims totaled 49. The City of Orlando and the State of Florida declared a state of emergency. President Obama addressed the tragedy that day on national TV.

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