Well, our hearts are sad to know that one of our Baptist Pastors was murdered while preaching a message on happiness in Maryville, Illinois this past Sunday. According to comcastnews.net The gunman, identified by authorities as a 27-year-old from Troy, strode toward the Rev. Fred Winters shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday, exchanged words with him, then fired a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol until it jammed. Churchgoers then wrestled him to the ground as he brandished a knife, said Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent.
Already this morning all across the nation, articles are being written about safety plans in churches and others have asked about the safety plan of Sunrise Baptist.
1. We DO have a safety plan in every single room of the church posted in flip-chart form ranging from fire, volcano blowing, bomb threats, to GUNMAN IN THE BUILDING.
2. We have talked to our ushers about this issue and WILL be doing this again this week about the possibility of a sick/disgruntled person coming into the church to try to do damage in some way.
3. We do have police officers as members who come to our services and are very aware of the threat to pastors and churches.
4. We do have Sunrise Security as a first defense who walk around our church and in our church to keep an eye on any threat that might arise.
5. I encourage everyone who attends Sunrise to feel free to take the flip chart down, read it, and know what you need to do in case any situation listed may arise.
6. Ultimately all we can do is trust GOD and do the best we can security wise.
Our hearts are sad for this pastor's family, the church and community. We MUST NOT live or worship in fear. This should cause us to seek the Lord more and to be more dilligent in our prayers for persecuted believers all over the world even in our own country.
Please know that your Sunrise Staff is aware and trying to do our due dilligence in protecting all who worship at our church from our little ones all the way up. Please pray for your staff and leadership as we continue to serve the Kingdom.
Also, don't forget to take the poll all the way at the bottom of this page if you have not already.