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"She Lived and Loved like Jesus": Youth Pastor among Those Killed in California Shooting

Will Maule : Nov 9, 2018 : Faithwire

She is being remembered as a genuinely caring person and a "wonderful light in the community" who left a "legacy of selfless servitude."

(Thousand Oaks, CA) — [Faithwire.com] As more details continue to emerge about Wednesday night's brutal mass shooting, it has been confirmed that a female youth pastor was among the 12 victims. Noel Sparks was a leader at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California. Her death was confirmed by the church's Senior Pastor, Shawn Thornton, in a video posted to Facebook. (Noel Sparks. Image source: Facebook/Noel Sparks)

"We've lost a staff member," said Thornton. "Noel Sparks. She and her mom have been a part of Calvary since she was 15, and she has now stepped into the presence of the Lord. It has been heavy for us, there have been some tears shed, we've had some tough conversations."

Thornton added that a "number of our families have been directly affected" by the shooting that claimed the lives of some 12 people and injured several more.

"We want you to know we are praying," Thornton assured, saying that the church is holding prayer vigils and worship services over the next few days.

"We are actively seeking to minister to our community and to be here for them and for you."

Young Adults Pastor, Brian Howard, said that people should pray for those who survived the shooting, and ask that they would "have faith and hope," heeding the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians. Howard also urged people to pray that those affected by the shooting would know that "healing really does come through the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

"Finally, that they would have love," he said. "Love for one another and the hurting and the broken. That they would know the love of God in Christ for them in this moment."

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