Davey Blackburn, the Indiana pastor whose pregnant wife, Amanda, was murdered during a home invasion on Nov. 10, has announced he is stepping away from the pulpit for a time but encouraged his church to "not give up any ground" despite the tragedy.
After thanking church members for their support, prayer and love, Blackburn emphasized, "I honestly don't know how anyone can go through what we've gone through without the family of God, without the family of Christ."
The pastor explained that he will be stepping away from the pulpit in the upcoming weeks to grieve and figure out what's next for himself and his young son, Weston.
"It's difficult to process through everything right now," he said. "One thing I do know and that I'm confident in is that through this entire season, what the Lord wants us to do and what Amanda would want us to do is not give up any ground. I wholeheartedly believe that God has still called me to Indianapolis, that He called our family to Indianapolis, and Amanda gave her life to see Indianapolis changed."
While Blackburn takes a hiatus from his ministry, several other pastors will take over - all of whom "love Resonate Church" and are focused on spreading the Gospel.
"I don't want this tragedy to be wasted, so I want to capitalize on seeing more and more people coming to know Jesus as their personal savior," Blackburn said.
While he hopes to return to the pulpit soon, the pastor didn't give a specific timeline, explaining that he wants to make sure both he and his son are in a good place first.
"Right now I just need to take a step back and get healthy, and get filled up, and kind of get re-directed on what the next step is for our life. I also want to make sure I'm taking the time to make sure Weston is doing really well...that in this chaos he's finding a bit of stability and that I'm able to shepherd his heart well in this process."
As reported by the Gospel Herald, Amanda was shot three times, including once in the head during a home invasion on the morning of Nov. 10, just hours before Davey left for the gym. She succumbed to her injuries the following day along with her 13-week-old unborn daughter, Everette "Evie" Grace Blackburn.
Amanda's suspected killer, Larry Jo Taylor Jr., 18, and his accomplice, Jalen Watson, 21, have both been charged with murder and a litany of other crimes. They have both pleaded not guilty and are expected to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on Jan. 8, 2016.
Speaking to Fox News after the horrific incident, Davey Blackburn said that he has already forgiven the men who killed his wife and revealed he is praying for them to find Jesus Christ.
"I don't want to live my life going down the path of bitterness because it will destroy my soul and it will destroy everybody around me if I choose that (unforgiveness)," explained Blackburn. "So today, I choose forgiveness. And tomorrow, I pray that I can wake up and choose forgiveness by the power of Jesus Christ. One of the things about Jesus, when they were inflicting way more pain than any of us, can imagine on Him, on the cross, He looked out, and he said, 'Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they're doing.' And so that spirit lives in us, and we're just praying His spirit would help us in that," he added.