Detroit area churches talk security measures after Texas shooting

- The mass shooting in Texas Sunday has sent shockwaves across the country including Detroit area churches.

Tim Patterson is the Executive Director of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. When he heard about the shooting at a church in Texas, he could not help but think about a time when someone made threats against his own life. 

Because they were viable and serious threats, I had to have security with me everywhere I went in the church," he said. "I was vested and he did come to the church with mal intent and was caught in the parking lot."

The incident took place when Patterson was presiding over a church in Florida and he believes a security plan made the difference.

"The main thing is that we had a plan in place and we did have security in place," he said.

As Patterson joins other Baptist pastors for the annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan, he says he wants to address security.

"One of the things hoping to do for our whole convention is for churches is to provide training opportunities where they can learn how to protect facilities and people," he said. 

In order to protect his congregation, one church leader says he has a gun in the pulpit.

"When I'm in the pulpit I'm facing the door everyone else's back is to the door," Patterson said. "So I will be the first line of defense. A shepherd is supposed to protect the flock. Well, I carry to protect the flock." 

A valid CPL Holder Pastor Kevin Bruinsma, AKA Pastor Joker, says he doesn't believe having a gun in church contradicts his religious values.

"Jesus Christ, Himself said sell your cloak and buy a sword," he said. "Now there's something to that."

As for The Archdiocese of Detroit, a spokesperson tells FOX 2 that it’s not implementing security measures beyond what is typically done on a parish by parish basis.

One religious leader says he understands the importance of security but hopes churches don’t lose sight of their mission.

"Our mission does not change related to the evil that we see," said Pastor Larry Johnson, Middlebelt Baptist Church. "We're going to continue to preach God's word and do what he asks us to do."
 

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