WAXAHACHIE — When tragedy strikes, often leaving behind hurting hearts and questioning minds, it is important not to lose sight of the most important thing — love, a minister told those gathered to celebrate Terri “Missy” Bevers life.

A public funeral service was held at the Cowboy Church of Ellis County on Saturday. Gary Morgan spoke to the mourners, reminding them not to allow their grief to separate them from the truth. Bevers was killed at the Creekside Church of Christ Monday, and police are still searching for a suspect in the case. Chris Maddox also shared memories the Bevers family and friends had given him over the last few days.

God is love, Morgan reminded the crowd, and created a perfect world for Adam and Eve. The reason sin and suffering exist in this once perfect world is because people made the decision to step away from the light of God’s love and into the darkness. Bevers’ death was not because of a loving God, but because that man or woman was in a dark place, Morgan said.

As the community and family continues to follow the case and learn to cope without their wife, mother, friend, trainer or fellow sports mom, it is important not to let feelings of rage, vengeance or doubt overcome the love in each heart.

“If that happens, you are no different from the person who did this,” Morgan said.

Bevers was a loving, passionate and energetic person, Maddox shared, and left many wonderful, funny memories in the hearts of her family, classmates, friends and coworkers. From playing golf with her brothers barefoot to avoid the tan lines left by socks, to dragging every one of her Facebook friends along on her entrepreneurial schemes, Missy set her own course and pursued each with her whole heart, he said. She also loved deeply, staying connected with her high school classmates and spending many extra hours to tutor one of her special needs students who she felt was failed by the school system.

She loved her family just as much, Maddox shared, from her first blind date with her husband Brandon Bevers – a blind date his mother set them up on – from which she returned saying she would follow him anywhere, to her commitment to raise their three daughters with a strong faith in God.

She once told her younger brother, “Everyone you meet is a friend until they prove otherwise,” Maddox said.

Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email bkurtz@waxahachietx.com. Follow her on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.