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.
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.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value), and
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 73 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.