TOPEKA (KSNT) — Congregations all over the country are on edge, questioning how a horrific shooting could happen in a church of all places
“My heart just sank,” said Rev. V. Gordon Glenn III, Pastor of St. John AME Church in Topeka, thinking about the moment he found out about the shooting. It was right after he concluded a bible study of his own.
Now Rev. Glenn says he’s devastated thinking about the attack that claimed nine lives in a church just like his.
“It’s a place where people come to feel free of the world’s concerns and cares and dangers,” said Glenn.
Now he worries some may no longer feel safe coming to this space.
“You know I visited a church in Oakland, one of our churches in Oakland and I was really shocked to see that there were armed guards in the parking lot, and I thought oh that seems unnecessary but now I’m re-thinking that,” said Glenn.
He’s not sure that’s the direction his church should go and some other pastors feel the same.
“I’m not afraid of those who come and walk through our doors. You don’t have to go walk through a church door to do bodily harm to a group of people. That’s truly not the answer for me,” said Pastor Harry Christian of Asbury Mt. Olive Methodist Church.
That’s not to say some things won’t change.
“We’ll all certainly be watching a little bit closer and being vigilant, and parents will probably hold their children a little bit closer, but it’s sad that it has to be that way,” said Glenn.
“I’ll be amazed to see what God does in the midst of all of this. It should have never happened, yes, but in the midst of all this, I believe God’s people across denominations will come together for this cause,” said Christian.
The two pastors share a similar vision: to not dwell on the tragedy, but to look ahead to a time when synagogues, temples, and churches are no longer targets of hatred.
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