Local churches respond after Texas church massacre

PEORIA, Ill. - A place designated for all who attend to experience love and fellowship, for some, has become a place of tragedy and heartbreak.

Lloyd Brock is the Senior Pastor of the Pekin First Nazarene Church and says that although his church's motto is “A Church for Everyone”, members are being mindful of who walks in and out of the building.

“We're not gonna keep people away,” Brock says. “We're gonna try to minister to as many people as we can, but we're gonna be smart about it.”

The Sutherland Springs shooting is not the first church shooting that has gotten national attention. In September, one person was killed and eight others were wounded after a masked man opened fire following a church service in Antioch, TN. Additionally, nine people were shot and killed during a Bible study session in Charleston, South Carolina.

“We're not just sitting in the sanctuary,” Brock continues. “We're making sure we have people walking around that are watching what’s happening and who's coming in and out of the building, so we can be as prepared as we can.”

Although these events are tragic, churches want their members to feel peace and love every time these come into church.

“When people come into our church I want them to feel hope, and ideally the church should be a place of refuge to get away from the world,” said Jim Powell, Lead Pastor of Richwoods Christian Church.

Powell says new security measures have been put in place to keep members safe, but the main focus is to keep the church a place of praise and worship.

Powell said, “As a pastor I’m called to still shepherd my people, encourage them, and give them hope and perspective, even in challenging times like this.”


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