Mar 27, 2024 - News

Covenant parents hope school will be "known for more than just that day"

Mourners in pews.

In the immediate aftermath of The Covenant School shooting, Nashvillians gathered at a vigil at Woodmont Christian Church. Photo: Seth Herald/Getty Images

Brent Leatherwood has three children who were at Covenant during the shooting that took six other lives on March 27, 2023.

  • He tells Axios memories and questions about that day surface unexpectedly.

"It is not a straight line from trauma to recovery," says Leatherwood, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the former executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party.

  • "I don't even know at this point if I can define what recovery looks like."
  • "This moment, it's going to mark us."

"The choice coming out of this is: are we going to be defined by the darkness of that day, or are we going to be defined by hope?" Leatherwood says.

His family has focused on supporting those who lost a loved one in the shooting and doing what they can to protect other schools moving forward.

  • The coming Easter holiday underscores the significance of the battle-tested faith community at Covenant, which is connected with the Covenant Presbyterian Church.
  • Leatherwood says that a sense of family and tenacity are central to the small school's story.

"We want Covenant to be known for more than just that day."

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