crosses

Crosses bearing the names of the 58 victims of the mass shooting line the grass at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. 

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- There is a lot that can happen in a year, and according to one valley pastor, the year following the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting has been filled with growth.

Pastor Matthew Teis said following the shooting, many survivors and community members turned their attention to their faith in order to heal.

"Seeing the needs of people and being with people at their greatest points of grief, that changes you," Teis said. "You'll never forget that night, because on that night something inside of me changed and I think it did for this entire community."

On Monday morning, the streets were busy in front of Liberty Baptist Church. The church is about 14 miles northwest of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, but on October 1, 2017, the church and it's pastors played an important role.

"We were with victim's families and finding out their different stories," Pastor Teis said. "Being with them when they got good news and bad news, the entire night was totally saturated with prayer, because there were so many questions."

Pastor Teis said at the hospital, faces were painted with bewilderment, he said people were searching for answers, but that same look continued the following Sunday at church.

"Just hurt," Teis said. "Like you got kicked in the stomach. That's what that felt like and what it feels like when anyone talks about it, rather than this anger, it's more of a we need each other."

He said something else continued too.

"You saw signs everywhere, 'Pray for Vegas,' on casino's and even strip club's 'Pray for Vegas.' As a native of this place, I'd never seen anything like that," he said. "There are people that I met that night that I would consider friends for life, because when you're in the middle of different things, difficult things like that, I think you build a bond and a friendship that just doesn't go away."

That feeling got bigger, it got stronger.

"It's not just an event," Teis said. "I've seen this is something that has legs and keeps walking to where the Vegas strong motto is not necessarily a stiff neck kind of thing, more of an I need you, you need me, we are a community."

That's when he said things started to shift, in the community and at the church, including a 14 percent jump in membership. Teis said he noticed people breaking away from their distractions and recommitting to their priorities.

"I've seen people get tattoos of that night, because it left a mark on their lives," Teis said. "Lean upon things that are most important, family, faith and community."

Creating a community for the world to see.

"So much of Las Vegas is transplanted and they're waiting to go home," Teis said. "I think the events of that week made Las Vegas home for so many people."

Copyright 2018 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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