The Texas-based church of 82-year-old aviator Wally Funk reportedly celebrated her flight into space last Tuesday.
The Christian Headlines said while Funk fulfilled her 60-years-in-the-making dream to fly into space with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos onboard Blue Origin's "New Shephard," the White's Chapel in Southlake celebrated the event by watching the space launch live.
While USA Today revealed that it was the first time New Shephard launched into space with people onboard. New Shephard has had 16 flights into space prior to Tuesday's flight with Funk and Bezos in it.
"She did it! Congratulations to Wally Funk, our amazing church member, for climbing to new heights to fulfill her dreams!! We were extra loud this morning as we cheered her on during the live space launch!" White's Chapel said in Facebook.
The church then quoted Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." The post included photos during the launch and showed the church was full of people who witnessed the event through a big led screen that took centerstage.
Besides preparing for the live launch's viewing, the church also prepared a white dedication board with Funk's photo and the print out, "Congratulations, Sally!", where her members of the congregation wrote done special messages for her that will be given upon her return. The church also congratulated Funk through their website.
Netizens who commented on the church's post called Funk as "amazing" and "inspiring" while described the day as "glorious" and full of "joy."
One photo posted by the church showed children seating in a pew with one of them wearing an astronaut costume complete with helmet and another wearing a NASA shirt. A comment on the photo said that Funk "continues to inspire others to dream big!"
In a post on Twitter, Good Day Fox 4 News Reporter Shannon Murray posted photos of the church and its congregation watching the launching. Murray described the atmosphere in the church as one that sent "chills" pertaining to the excitement and joy of the congregation for Funk.
"This morning the congregation at White's Chapel in Southlake will watch Blue Origin's launch live. Crew member Wally Funk is a beloved church member who lives in Grapevine. At 82, she will make history as the oldest person to travel to space," Murray said.
"This has been 60 years in the making for Funk. She trained to become an astronaut in the 60s but never went to space because she's a woman. Today her dream finally comes true," she added in a succeeding tweet. The post included a black and white photo of Funk in her youth wearing her astronaut suit.
Faithwire reported that Funk was the oldest person to go into space from West Texas. Faith Wire said Funk's church mates cheered and shouted as they watched the countdown knowing that her "greatest dream" finally materialized.
White's Chapel Church Senior Ministry Director Laurie Williams told CBS DFW that Funk would often speak of her dream to go into space during conversations in church. Williams said that she is a "living testimony" of the power of setting one's mind to achieve a goal.
"She is a living testimony that you can do anything you set your mind to. She has wanted to go up in space. That comes up in conversations all the time with her and you know recently she was saying if she didn't know if she'd be able to go up or not now and I just kept telling her to believe in it," Williams said.
"I cried ugly tears whenever I found out that she's getting this opportunity. Beyond just being a national, international hero to so many and to females, for her to have her dreams realized, for her to know that God sees her and sees her dreams and is making it happen, I cannot wait!" Williams added.
CBS DFW said Funk was part of "Mercury 13" in the 1960s when she entered the government's "Women in Space" program. Funk, however, was denied the opportunity of going into space because of her gender despite passing the astronaut training and being top of her class. Funk continued her passion in aviation by teaching at least 3,000 people to fly and "investigated many crash scenes for the government."