Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Faith Holds Strong at Churches Hit by Blasts

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Faith Holds Strong at Churches Hit by Blasts

Article excerpt

A New Mexico church service was set to start when the mailbox exploded near the office entrance. Unshaken in faith, the congregation of Calvary Baptist in Las Cruces headed to the parking lot, set up folding chairs and listened as the pastor drew from the story of David and Goliath.

The explosion that sent the mailbox flying 100 feet over a woman's head was the first of two om Sunday that caused minor damage to two churches in Las Cruces - the second-largest city in New Mexico near the border of Mexico and Texas.

No one was injured in the blasts at Calvary Baptist and Holy Cross Roman Catholic, but authorities said the explosive devices could have caused serious injuries if anyone had been nearby.

No arrests have been made.

Calvary Baptist Pastor Scott Rodgers said he had spent three days preparing his sermon for Sunday but somehow sensed Saturday that he needed to change course. He searched the scriptures and was led to the story of David and Goliath.

"What I saw there is that when in the midst of difficult situations, we need to, rather than look at the size of our problem, we need to look at the size of our God, he said. "It provided a great deal of comfort.

Calvary Baptist reopened Monday. No one answered the phone at Holy Cross, where an explosion in a trash can caused damage to a glass entryway.

Authorities have declined to provide specifics on the explosives that went off about 20 minutes apart at the two churches.

Calvary Baptist sits at the corner off a major street about a mile from New Mexico State University, while Holy Cross is tucked in a residential neighborhood less than four miles away.

Monsignor John Anderson was blessing bread and wine for Communion at Holy Cross when the trash can exploded.

Arriving police officers evacuated the church and blocked off surrounding buildings while bomb-sniffing dogs searched the church property. …

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