First Baptist Church in Sevierville honored the life of a fourth grade teacher who died Thursday after a tree fell on a van in Blount County.
36-year-old Brooke Sampson was an active member at the church and mentor to many. She is remembered for her faith and kindness.
Sampson also loved Chaco sandals. She wore them every day no matter the weather. Her church decided to honor her by wearing her favorite shoes on the first Sunday without her.
Inside the church in a small classroom, the girls Sampson taught in Sunday school class held on tight to her lasting impact and prayed.
"She was an amazing person-- very strong," eleventh grade Sunday school student Lainey Ogle said. "You just knew she loved the Lord."
Now, a decorated bulletin board takes the place of Brooke's spot at the table, filled with things she loved.
"We have the Chacos on there because literally every Sunday Brooke would wear Chacos," said Chloe Wade, another Sunday school student.
The sandal became a symbol for Sampson, according to youth pastor Scott Carter.
"If the Lord will let her, she's wearing them in heaven," Carter said.
Former youth member Caitlyn Mattox came up with the idea for the church to slip on the sandals for the first Sunday without Sampson to honor her walk in faith.
“I just thought, I think there's something really strong and when everyone kind of comes together and does one thing. And so I thought that was the best thing for all of us to wear Chacos, because I feel like Brooke would love that,” Mattox said.
"Every place she went she left her mark and her influence," Carter explained.
Her mark is everywhere: in the initials written on her student's shoes, in the "brookies" she used to bake and in the love she left with everyone she met.
"I think that we will probably hug a little tighter because of Brooke, maybe love a little deeper because of Brooke and maybe look forward to Heaven a little bit more than ever because of Brooke," Carter said.
Now, her loved ones have no choice but to hold on tight.
"If I can even be half of the person she was, I know I would have made an incredible impact," Mattox said.
Sampson's funeral services are set for Thursday night at First Baptist in Sevierville. Receiving of friends is 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with the memorial service to follow.