Dublin finds hope in prayer after Dr Pepper's exit

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by MONIKA DIAZ

WFAA

Posted on January 15, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 11:21 AM

DUBLIN, Texas — Families in Dublin went to church on Sunday to pray away the pain and to hear words of hope after the Erath County town lost the soft drink that put it on the map: Dublin Dr Pepper.

More than 50 people arrived at First Assembly of God Church in Dublin with worries about the town's future and its identity.

"It definitely was a shock," said school teacher Amy Cortez.  "I think many feel that was the identity of our community, Dublin Dr Pepper, and having that taken away has almost made you feel like you have lost a part of who you are."

Fourteen people lost their jobs at the town's bottling plant, but others fear the impact is far from over.

"A lot of business owners are afraid that it will affect their business in some way," said Pastor Ronnie Horton of First Assembly of God Church in Dublin.  "The people who come here eat at restaurants, shop in our stores."

But Pastor Ronnie Horton believes the ingredient that made Dublin Dr Pepper a success remains.

"I can say without any reservation that this town pulls through in a way that you don't see in a lot of other places,"  Horton said. "Dublin people just get together and keep it going."

From layoffs at the school district to dairy closures, Horton told us, the town pulls through every time.  It's that history that gives him and others so much hope.

"We have to accept what's before us and take it as a challenge, and know that we will grow strength from each other," said Vickie Summers, a Dublin business owner.

They are trusting in themselves to build their next chapter.

"It's not going to be easy, but we have a lot of strong people in this community who are going to rally together," Cortez said.  "It's going to be okay."

E-mail mdiaz@wfaa.com

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