The Texas Church Shooting Aftermath, by Sophie in Texas

Being from a small town (population 450) outside of San Antonio, Texas and one who regularly attends Sunday services at an evangelical church, it was devastating news to hear of the evil inflicted on the Sutherland Springs congregation. Our hearts and prayers went out to the families that suffer and to the community that lost so many souls.

Churches Formulate a Response

In the aftermath of such pain, many churches and Texans began to formulate a direct response to the evil that occurred. You may know about the 26 churchgoers killed and another 20 wounded, but my story is how our little church has responded to the direct threat of pure evil.

Similarities Between Our Church and Sutherland Springs Church

The similarities between our church and the Sutherland Springs church are eerily striking: same size town, same white church, same size congregation, and same general vicinity of San Antonio. This also means it can happen to any church, in any town, USA.

Our Church Takes Hard Stand

Our church takes a hard stand on biblical views. The church’s Ten Commandments sign is on full roadside display. We use our outside billboard to reinforce Bible principles, regardless of worldly opinion. Sometimes God’s views create strife, even within our tiny, Bible-belt community.

For instance, our pastor infamously wrote “Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim” and “Vote for the Capitalist not the Communist” during the presidential election. He received an avalanche of hate-filled phone calls and threats every day for weeks, and it was then that he began to ramp up our church’s security.

Church Practices What Bible Preaches

Our church practices what the Bible preaches with 22 years of local jail ministries, taking a stand for pro-life during Chain of Life day, saying the Lord’s Prayer out loud at football games, praying on the courthouse lawn for those in authority, and helping our community members break drug addiction.

This has put a big spotlight on our very small but vocal church. We are not afraid of speaking out against evil, and although we are warriors for Christ, the Sutherland Springs church shooting shook us in immediate action.

Preparedness Isn’t Fool Proof

No amount of preparedness is fool proof. However, the decision to be proactive about our church’s security has made us put additional measures in place in the event evil rears its ugly head again. Unfortunately, in today’s world, Christians are now viewed as extreme rather than the evil itself.

Guns Are Reality In Texas

Guns are an everyday reality in Texas. Most parishioners live where there is a 30, even 60, minute law enforcement response time, and therefore we must take our family’s safety into our very capable hands.

Guns are natural to Texans. Most Texans have the necessary knowledge, experience, and shooting skills to stop an attacker. This includes our children, who have been taught from an early age to hunt and target practice at home and at the local gun range.

Additional Security Measures Implemented

After the Texas church shooting, we began to implement additional security measures. Many of our church members, including our pastor, conceal carry during church services and activities. We also have someone outside the church with an AR-15 who is our first line of defense.

Firepower Inside the Church

With many men already armed with weapons inside the church, we formalized the seating arrangements. Now, there is a gun toting church elder who sits behind the front door’s line of sight to stop trouble as it walks in. Additional concealed carry men are located throughout the pews. A hidden gun strategically placed may help stop a violent person who is hell bent on inflicting casualties. Even the women have guns in their cars for additional firepower, and some pack in their purses.

The Building Doors and Windows

We now lock unnecessary doors to limit access to only the main church doors during services. Plans are made to secure windows that provide too easy viewing of church goers.

At Attention

During last week’s Veterans Day church service, a young man who is entering the military stood at attention with a rifle as a tribute to vets around the world who stand watch over us. It’s not a bad idea since most mega churches have armed body guards next to the pulpit.

Something A Little Much Became Comforting

I once thought it was a little much for the church member to sit outside the church with an AR-15 during services. Now, it’s comforting, as I look at my family singing in the pews, while I remember how many innocent small children died at Sutherland Springs.

Although we have taken our church family’s security into our own hands, other churches are too scared or ashamed to take up the conversation of “what if’s”. None of us knows the future, but Christ asks us to be watchful, diligent, and take care of those who need our help. We have heeded his words and acted accordingly.

May God bless you all as we enter into times such as these.

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  1. thinking about church security i think there needs to be a layered defense,dealing with an armed intruder is best done outside the church, once he is commingled with the parishioners he becomes a very complex problems to manage without collateral damage.

    first a TV system that watches all the entrances and parking lots for trouble that is approaching, there are a lot of inexpensive systems that have multiple cameras and recorder monitors that will suffice, costco/amazon/sams all sell these systems and they could be readily installed in a weekend by some of the parishioners to handle surveillance . second an armed man at each entrance with two way communications so that a door could be locked and defended when the person monitoring the video system is alerted to someone suspicious approaching. heavy doors lockable from inside will delay anyone trying to enter. doors can be defended by the armed response team, police can be called while intruder is outside of the building.

    third a second set of locking doors at the end of a vestibule will create the funnel that is defensible. a radio equipped defense team can man each door and be immediately responsive to the monitor control station, they can lock doors and be able to provide armed response to any intruder trying to enter.

    1. The layered approach is great but in a small church, it is very difficult to achieve. The cameras are very affordable and should be considered by all. Our small church does not have the manpower to have multiple teams. God bless.

  2. Likewise, our Texas church is reviewing and upgrading security. We have installed outside cameras and positioned concealed carry men and women throughout the church. I have been appointed security officer and have a concealed AR-15 beneath my pew. We are having a meeting of the congregation after church today to make everyone aware of response and evacuation plans. Yes, it is sad that we must have such discussions, but we must acknowledge the threat that exists in our society. God bless.

    1. Check with your Sheriff’s Department to see if they will provide Active Shooter training and run a drill with your security team. Ours does so twice a year. It helps them recognize our plain clothes security guys as well as the ones wearing “Security” shirts.

      1. If you are in Texas, your guys are not allowed to wear “security” shirts unless they are licensed security officers or police officers(it violates the Occupation Code). Good advice about active shooter training. Thanks.

        1. yes from Texas… I attended a week long church security conference at First Baptist in Houston…My understanding..from that..if you call your people security … they must be licensed…soo… concealed or licensed to carry…OK…but be careful to call your people a security team…

  3. Your pastor saying things like “Vote for the Mormon, not the Muslim” will jeopardize you tax exempt status. If you care. Some pastors are willing to give up the state favored tax status to speak their minds from the pulpit. As far as security goes, my church has none, and I have stopped attending, as in my state my inability to legally protect myself or others has left me with a fear of crowded places, because “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

    1. I use to attend church in a neighboring non gun friendly state (new york) while I lived in pa. I would carry at church across state lines. Better to be judges by 12 than carried by 6. Or better yet move to a gun friendly state. I would never give up attending church to feel safe. You need to eat spiritual food just as much as physical. Besides if the worse happens your in Heaven.

  4. Some church’s are way behind the curveball. Our church has had armed security for 20+ years here in Montana. We have several members who carry every service. All doors except the main entrance are locked after church starts. We have a roving armed usher that patrols hallways, parking lots ect before, during and after services. Before the advent of wireless cameras and I pads that we currently use to monitor we used mirrors to see around cowners and down hallways. Must church’s have sound booths in the rear. This is a great place to keep an eye on things.

    I don’t like the idea of have a armed guard outside. The people inside my feel safe but new guest might feel intimidated by this. If I was looking for a new church or visiting from out of town I would skip over a church with an armed guard standing out front.

    If we have a large event (500+ ) we normally hire a sheriff or city police to sit out front. This makes people feel safe. Allot of first time guests will instantly recognize a policeman verses some dude standing outside with a black rifle.

    1. More than half of physical attacks and murders on church and faith based properties happens outside the building. If you only have one safety team person, they should be outside to hopefully stop attackers before they enter your building. That said I would not have easily identified safety team members (such as open carry) because that just makes them the first to be shot. If you can afford to hire uniformed police that is a different story, since they have body armor, and radio contact with police dispatch.

  5. Pastors across the nation have misled their flock using a false interpretation of Romans 13. Of course Satan loves any opportunity to shed innocent blood. I am glad to hear of this church in Texas waking up.

    As to “it can happen to any church, in any town, USA” 26 dead, 20 seriously wounded, 1 shooter? I do not believe it. I am very familiar with two churches. where the men and women would take any shooter out of play within seconds. Of course both churches are in northwest Montana.

    Christians, ask yourself, ‘Is your pastor a shepherd or a hireling?’ (John 8:11-12)

  6. Dear Hugh

    A couple three years ago, there was a post, with videos, about a plastic film that was bullet proof, and intended to be placed over windows. The videos were most impressive! Standing a few feet behind a glass window while being shot at with live ammunition would have made me nervous.

    Can you find it, and re-post it for churches that are planning self defense measures?

    All a shooter has to do now is stand outside a window and start shooting inside, and some people will get hurt, no matter what.

    The film is transparent, and comes in various thicknesses, depending on the level of firepower you want to stop. So churches with beautiful stained glass windows can still enjoy them safely.

    It is also useful for homeowners with ground floor windows, who want safety.

  7. Currently the news media [even the LEFT biased MSM] is buzzing with a story about the throng of gunmen who murdered over 300 Mosque goers in Egypt. “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” -And conceal carry!

    Nice article and is why the LEFT needs to be stopped in their tracks in ever bringing up gun control again! They have no right, to diminish We The People’s human rights.

  8. Thanks for the article; this is an excellent discussion that church goers need to take seriously. No doubt there will be more hate filled copycat shootings.

  9. TACTICAL CIVICS™ is not having a formal (8pm) national conference call tonight, but Johnny B is opening the 7pm call up for “open line”, and here’s my idea for discussion.

    You know the NFA waiver language on every cool firearm, optic, or accessory that says, “Available to Law Enforcement or Military agencies only”?
    Previously our AmericaAgain! Declaration, Reform Law #18 was going to simply repeal the NFA…an open infringement on every American’s right, duty, and authority to own every kind of armament available to a military that he might have to face when engaged in Militia duty.

    I’ve been trying to think through this, but let’s discuss it on tonight’s informal TACTICAL CIVICS™ open line call at 7pm Central. Here’s my idea regarding the NFA…

    Our proposed Minuteman Act (Reform Law #18; see page 29 of the AmericaAgain! Declaration, downloadable from our ‘files’ section on the FB group) would now, instead of simply repealing the NFA, amend it to even the tables, viz:

    We pass a latest version of the NFA, like others before it since 1934. This time, the law will include a waiver for any registered Militia member, exactly equal to any LEO or military agency. It would mean that State would need an actual Militia duty roster (which means we get Militia restored in that State).

    Yes, this would also mean registration for Militia members. And although every American colony registered its militiamen and it was not considered an infringement or hardship at the time, things are different today. Now, our criminally invasive government agencies would make it problematic if we only required Militia members to be registered.
    So our law would require every State Militia to keep an accurate record of the name, address, gender, age, weight, height, eye and hair color, and issued duty firearms of every person employed in law enforcement or a military branch within that State, broken down by community!

    This will serve two purposes: first, it will be good government oversight for every State’s Militia within its duty to “execute the Laws of the Union” if that agency should turn against the People. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander: it’s only the same information the federal government gets on the People when we purchase firearms.

    Just as the USA and Russia do in their nuclear arms inventories: trust, but verify!

    Secondly, it would be a duty roster for Militia muster in the worst extremity should the State require the services of that paid professional resident in the State.

    What will this accomplish? First, it will acknowledge the law at last! In our highest law, We The People stipulate that “to execute the Laws of the Union” is ONLY the duty for the citizen’s unpaid Militia, and not for paid professionals whose interests might be turned against the community.

    Second, it will treat all duly-armed Americans with equal respect, honor, and watchcare, whether the LEO is in Militia, a military branch, or a paid law enforcement role. This will better accomplish the stated objective not only of the NFA (make sure that bad guys are marginalized and inconvenienced) but also of the U.S. Constitution (not allowing government to infringe on the right of The People to keep and bear arms, especially when serving in a well-regulated Militia.

    This is only common sense. Let your mind grasp in all its ramifications the time when We The People finally understand, appreciate, and exercise the almost unlimited range of powers that we stipulate in Amendment X we retain for ourselves!

    This is precisely within the retained powers of We The People! We have always just needed congressmen to sponsor our reform laws. After we achieve our very first action project (ratify the 28th Amendment; small districts, original First Amendment already ratified by 11 states) we will have THOUSANDS of regular Americans ready to do just that in the US House of Representatives.

    So. This will be one of our topics for discussion on the little informal call tonight, 7pm Central. Call (712)775-7031 access code 123-277-344 to join in.

  10. I’d be glad to back to any church, that does not preach socialism and that homosexuals are pleasing to G*d. There ain’t none around here. Getting shot is not one of my worries. Getting dumped on by a bunch of New Age swill is what I’ve come to expect, along with a lot of nonsense that is also non-Biblical. Not to mention that the pastors here abouts seem to think aiding and abetting illegal aliens is a good idea. Ichabod.

  11. I always worry about people who rattle off “We The People” as if they speak for everyone , instead of themselves .

    I am still waiting for a coherent definition of what the militia is going to do ? Replace the Sheriff , hang cattle thieves ? March in parades?

    Sounds more like the Taliban to me .

  12. We had an armed bad guy show up to our church one Sunday with the intention of shooting our pastor as he stood at the pulpit. As he was about to go through the swinging door that opened into the auditorium he was actually physically stopped by God. He was unable to move forward and he was so shaken that he turned around and left the building. Had he been able to come inside and walk down the aile toward my pastor he would have walked right by me and I would have shot him dead right there on the spot. I was armed and mentally prepared to take that action. God saved him from me because he loved him. Later that man came back to our church with a humble attitude and gave his heart and life to Jesus Christ and I even got to know him and we became friends. I never let him know that I was armed. There was no reason to. So my story has a purpose, if you are a designated armed person in your church you better be mentally prepared and ready to take a person’s life. If you’re not then let someone else have that task.

  13. I live in northwest Montana and we have had our pastor and several of the men all have conceal carry for the past year. We have also had a sign made up that hangs out front that tell everyone that all are welcome as long as they respect us and our rights but that the conceration (flock) is first protected by God then by the Shepherd and his armed Sheepdogs. So they have been warned.

  14. In Mexico’s early years the people in small villages attended Mass and segregated their congregation for fear of Indian attack. Women and children sat in the front of the chapel and the men sat in the back. A layered protection plan still makes sense.

  15. As someone with security team leadership and oversight I recommend going with a standard IP camera such as the Ubiquiti UVC-G3. Packages from box stores are often not compatible with any other systems and have serious limitations when it comes time to expand and grow.

    Also, take into consideration your state laws as many states prohibit concealed carry in houses of worship without the express permission of the church leadership.

  16. I have read in the comments about churches having 1 guy patrolling. In our church we have 3; one outside, one at the door greeting/roaming halls and one in the sanctuary. We have radios with earbuds for comms. We are by no means a large church, but found several folks willing to serve one week a month.

  17. This was a great article, very timely. Our little church of approximately 170 in a small city, but surrounded by a very liberal neighborhood, recently held an active shooter seminar. One of our members (head of security, but that title is more grandiose than reality) usually stands in the foyer. Therefore he can still participate in worshipping the Lord. He is military trained in active shooter situations and often gives seminars to local law enforcement as well as military. We are blessed to have him in our midst.

    Our congregation attended a seminar he held for us. They got to see AK and AR type weapons and what they sound like when chambering a cartridge. They got to hear a 9 MM shooting blanks to be able to differientiate the sound from a back fire or firecracker. They all know that if they hear someone (anyone, even a female teen’s small voice) yelling, “Get Down, Get Down, Get Down” that everyone is to hit the floor (if possible).

    That clears the way for those who carry concealed. We conceal carriers have our protocols at that point and have additional training, knowing which doors or entries to the auditorium (sanctuary) belong to which conceal carrier and who is their backup. Hopefully the Get Down order would eliminate any friendly fire.

    Our elders have contacted the insurance company with some trepidation, thinking that maybe they would drop us or at a minimum raise the rates to cover the liability of having members act as security. The insurance company did neither, but praised the church for its forward thinking and added all those in the congregation who have a conceal carry license for liability. Their one requirement was that we were to engage in several training sessions, which of course, we are happy to do.

    By the way, most conceal carriers at our church wear silver sheepdog pins on their lapel. 😉

  18. I attend a small church in rural Washington where the Sheriff’s Deputies might get there in 30 minutes. About half of the congregation are Liberals. I always carry concealed. I no longer sit in the sanctuary during the sermon and I am alone in this. A few have asked why I sit outside and tell them “after Texas somebody has to do something.” No one has made any negative remarks, in fact most people thank me for doing it. Our Pastor knows people conceal carry, but the stance is “don’t ask don’t tell”.

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