On Monday night, Coweta High School
students gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember the life of Triston Stephens. Stephens took his own life with a gun in a bathroom Monday morning at the Coweta Intermediate High School
. The suicide has left parents, students, and community members in Coweta with questions and broken hearts.
The Coweta Assembly of God opened its doors to students on Monday evening so that kids could have a spot to talk and try to move on after the tragic day.
In the moments after Stephens took his life, students in Coweta had trouble finding the words.
“I am in shock. I am like shaking right now, it’s so weird.” Jaci Sappington told FOX23.
That reaction is something Coweta Assembly of God Youth Pastor Dustin Ullrich would expect to hear.
“It takes time to process this kind of stuff, and I don’t think one day is long enough to process what it is happening, so I think it’s going to be difficult,” Ullrich said.
Ullrich says the church couldn’t wait until their usual Wednesday night youth service to open their doors.
“It’s important to do it tonight, because it is so raw right now. There are so many questions that a lot of the students have. It’s tragic. There’s a lot of questions, whys and how comes,” he said.
Every student in the community welcome was to ask questions about suicide and about God and faith.
“If they want some counseling, if they want some prayer, we’ll very much have a private area for that as well,” he said before the church opened its doors.
Those kids could also ask about what happens next.
“When it’s at the campus, when it’s at the school, it raises a lot more questions, of why and how, and how do we go forward from here.”
Ullrich hopes if anything, he can give these students, who will return to school tomorrow, a new way of looking at things.
“I want them to realize everyone is important. There has been a lot of talk of a bunch of different things going on here, and we just want the kids to know that everyone is important.”
Ullrich told FOX23 he went to the Intermediate High School on Monday to help with any counseling needs, and he said he plans to be there everyday for the rest of the week along with several other pastors from this area.
Students have told FOX23 there will be a prayer circle at the Intermediate High School’s flagpole Tuesday morning before school starts at .