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Church Becomes Cornerstone for Many Grieving After Pella Walmart Crash

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PELLA, Iowa -- "It's a place where you can cry. it's a place where you can cry out."  For 150 years the First Christian Reformed Church of Pella has been a pillar in the community, but today it's visitors wounds were newly born.  Pastor Brad Meinders said, "It doesn't matter who you are this is going to hit you. it's a tragedy."

As the news spread through town that a truck barreled through the Pella Walmart doors Thursday morning killing three and injuring two, the church offered an open space to deal with those raw emotions.  Pella resident Fred Vanden Broek said, "There's deep concerns for the workers and the store."

Well over one hundred people filled the church pews."Situations like this create the sense of the unknown.  There will be a sense of uncertainty for a while as we enter the store because this was a huge event," said Vanden Broek.

While that path seems dark, Pastor Meinders said,  "We are in this together.  To allow that space for people to be and grieve and yet know there's hope in this as a community."

Friends, family and strangers leaned on one another to find their way.   Vanden Boek said, "It gave me a sense of pride for our community."

An entire community finding help out of heartache. Pastor Meinders said,  "This is the Christmas season and that's what makes this really hard and yet he is our hope."