The First Baptist church in Texas, which was the scene of a massacre which left 26 people dead, is to be demolished.

On 5 November, Devin Kelley unleashed evil on the small, rural community as he walked in on the Sunday worship with an assault weapon, and struck down more than two dozen congregants, shooting babies at close range. The pastor's daughter was among the dead.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy, who was not at the church at the time of the tragedy, said leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention collectively made the decision to demolish the church, after it was deemed too painful to continue using the building as a place of worship.

The pastor described the building as "too stark of a reminder" of the massacre, spokesman Sing Oldham said.

Pomeroy expressed hope he could turn the site into a memorial for the dead and put up a new building on property the church owns, Oldham said.

Charlene Uhl, mother of 16-year-old Haley Krueger who died in the attack, agreed that the church should come down.

"There should still be church but not here," she said.

Jeannie Brown, who used to live in Sutherland Springs, visited the church to pay her respects to the victims. She commented: "Who would want to go back in there? But then if it is destroyed, does that mean he (the gunman) won?"

While a row of white crosses commemorating the victims currently lines the front of the church, Pastor Pomeroy said he hopes the building could be replaced with a permanent memorial to the victims.

Other sites of mass shootings have been torn down, including Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults in December 2012. A new school was built elsewhere.

While a motive for the shooting remains unclear, Devin Kelley appears to have targeted the church, which was regularly attended by his wife's family, following an altercation with his mother-in-law.

After opening fire on the congregation, he fled the scene but was pursued by two local residents. After being shot twice, he died in his car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a memorial service for the victims of the gunman, Fox2 Detroit reports.

Pence told the crowd that the attack was the worst mass shooting at a church in American history and called the gunman "deranged."

"Whatever animated the evil that descended on that small church, if the attacker's desire was to silence their testimony of faith, they failed," Pence added.

The eight male victims and 17 female victims ranged in age from 1 to 77.

Authorities said the 26 dead also included the unborn baby of a woman who was killed. All the victims died at the scene, except for one child who died at a hospital.