Sarena Dawn Moore, a member of the Grants Pass Oregon Seventh-day Adventist Church, was one of nine victims of the Umpqua Community College shooting on October 1, 2015. In addition to Moore, the following individuals have been named by the media as victims in the Umpqua shooting:
Lucero Alvarez,19, of Roseburg
Treven Taylor Anspach, 20, of Sutherlin
Rebecca Ann Carnes, 18, of Myrtle Creek
Quinn Glen Cooper, 18, of Roseburg
Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59, of Roseburg
Lucas Eibel, 18, of Roseburg
Jason Dale Johnson, 33, of Winston
Lawrence Levine, 67, of Glide
According to Gary McLain, the Communication Director for the Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventits, Moore was 44 years old, born July 8th, 1971. She was in her third semester in Business at Umpqua Community College. Moore was baptized by Pastor Rob Kearbey in the Hayfork Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2005 in the Northern California Conference after attending an evangelistic series in the Hayfork Church.
"She was loved right into the family of God," McLain noted.
Moore subsequently moved to Grants Pass, Oregon, where she joined the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist Church, after which she moved to Roseburg to enroll as a student at UCC. McLain states that Moore was known as a strong firm believer in prayer. "She often asked for prayer and prayed for others herself. Though she didn't have many possessions, she had a big heart and would try to help those less fortunate than herself. She was a single mom and loved her now young adult sons dearly."
Moore counted being able to enroll at UCC as a direct answer to prayer. "She praised the Lord for opening doors for her to pursue a degree in Business," McLain said. She often wrote, "Please pray for me!" "Love how God can bless us," and "Thank God!" on Facebook her posts.
Unconfirmed reports from several outlets indicate that the shooter deliberately targeted Christians in his killing spree.
"If true," McLain noted, "Sarena demonstrated her faith in a way that very few would feel prepared to do. It was an act of courage and faith that our God carefully noted...and her faith will become sight at the resurrection morning."
The Oregon Conference of Seventh-day Adventist and the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist jointly prepared the following statement:
The Oregon Conference and North Pacific Union Conference church family of members extends our prayers on behalf of all those personally impacted by the tragic events on Thursday, October 1, at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.
Christian Martin, Grants Pass (Oregon) Adventist Church pastor, reports additional sad news, confirmed today by Douglas County authorities. Sarena Moore, one of his church members, was among those killed by the gunman. She was 44. It’s been reported that one of Sarena’s last posts on Facebook was an affirmation of her desire to stand up for Jesus and Christianity.
We urge all Northwest members to pray specifically for the Grants Pass Church and Sarena’s extended family as well as our Roseburg area churches. Please continue to pray for all the students and families impacted along with the first responders and medical personnel.
Al Reimche, Oregon Conference president, says tragedies like this remind us to “join together in praying that God will fill our hearts with a passion to share His love in a world that desperately needs Him.”
In addition, we echo the thoughts of Dan Jackson, North American Division president, shared as follows.
“The Seventh-day Adventist church in North America is heartbroken that once again a gunman has taken nine precious lives in a mass school shooting. We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the nine people killed, the many wounded, and the students, faculty and staff of Umpqua Community College. We also pray for the community of Roseburg and the heartache they are experiencing as a result of this tragedy.
“It is difficult to believe that a great nation like the United States must once again mourn the loss of God’s children whose lives have been senselessly taken at the hands of a mass shooting. Surely, this nation, that has become a beacon of hope and opportunity for scores of people, can be a land where all feel safe from the violence of firearms.
“It is time for our society to engage in open, honest, civil, and productive conversation about finding solutions to put an end once and for all to gun violence. We pray that this tragedy will bring about much needed change and address the pandemic of gun violence.
“We pray for the day when children and adults can attend school without fear. We pray for the day when, as the Prophet Isaiah promises, ‘They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.’”
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