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Locals React To Last Sunday’s Shooting In Texas


The gunman who shot two parishioners at the West Freeway church of Christ in Texas on Sunday has prompted some concerns among local congregations.
A 43-year-old, Keith Kinnunen, entered the Texas church and shot two people. A church member returned fire and killed the gunman. Now Chattooga church members are pondering changes.
“It shook us all up. I think we all want to be a little more proactive and step things up a little bit,” Subligna Road church of Christ Minister Tommy O’Kelley said.
That congregation was already in the process of installing magnetic lock doors and implementing other security measures before Sunday’s attack occurred. The shooting, however, is spurring them on.
“I met with the elders following the morning service and they are going to try to push our security system [implementation],” O’Kelley said. “I think [these types of shootings] are getting more and more prevalent.”
Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader is aware of the shooting in Texas and said the West Freeway church of Christ had taken a great step toward its security. That church had implemented a security team, he said.
“Obviously it’s a terrible tragedy for anybody to go through. I think by there being a security team and those members being armed saved a lot of lives that day,” Sheriff Schrader said.
Churches and other places with larger gatherings should plan for these type incidents, the sheriff said.
“We already plan for our schools. Anywhere there is a large gathering of people there needs to be a plan in place,” Schrader said.
The sheriff said he’s willing to help any congregation with plans or advice. He’s planning to conduct a church security class in the coming weeks.
Now churches are having to discuss not only the gospel, but also the gun laws and whether people should carry concealed weapons to church.
Minister O’Kelley, a former military man, said he doesn’t mind people bringing a concealed weapon, only if they have a permit, have some training on how to use them and conceal the gun where no one else can see it.
“The elders said if you have a permit to carry and you feel comfortable, that’s your call. They don’t want people flashing their firearm where others could see it,” O’Kelley said.
The sheriff said his staff is willing to help the congregation come up with security plans and look over the grounds to see what could improve to make things more secure.

1 Comment

  1. Wes Dawson on January 7, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    As a gospel preacher, I find brethren who are so scared that they arm themselves in worship disgusting. Early Christians used swords for a variety purposes including cooking but when Peter cut off a man’s ear the Lord rebuked him telling him to put up his sword.

    Early Christians trusted solely in God, not carnal weapons. Jesus said, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)

    (Romans 8:31-39)
    [31] What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
    [32] He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
    [33] Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.
    [34] Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
    [35] Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
    [36] As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
    [37] Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
    [38] For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
    [39] Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    I find Christians who carry guns to be fearful and unbelieving.

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