It’s not supposed to happen in churches, but it does.
In fact, there have been at least 13 deadly shootings at places of worship across the U.S. in recent years.
On Sunday, a church in White Settlement became the most recent number in that daunting statistic when a gunman opened fire at West Freeway Church of Christ, killing two church members.
Jack Wilson, a former Hood County reserve deputy and a firearms instructor, quickly took out the gunman with a single shot, potentially saving dozens of lives.
Wilson is part of the church’s security team.
The incident prompted us to ask local church officials what measures they are taking to keep their congregations safe during Sunday services.
Pastor Dennis Moore with Grace Baptist said his church has had a security plan in place for two years, since the church shooting took place in Sutherland Springs at the end of 2017.
Twenty-six people were killed and 20 more were wounded in Sutherland Springs, when a gunman walked into the small Baptist church and fired at least 700 rounds. The attack lasted an estimated 11 minutes.
“Ironically, I reviewed our security plan with the church Sunday morning,” he said. “I believe the best church security is legally armed church members. A gun free zone at a church is absolutely crazy because evil people will still come with a gun or other weapons to do harm and we are left to their evil devices. The latest shooting proves the point.”
Pastor Chris Kitts with Rivers Church said members of his church have formed a team of retired police and military who are equipped to handle weapons.
“I also am licensed to carry and often speak on Sunday with a small pistol concealed,” he added.
Managing Editor Sara Vanden Berge contributed to this report.