Jeffersontown, Kentucky's First Baptist Church wants some of its members to come to worship with firearms, WDRB reports.
The mostly black church is near the site of Kentucky's Kroger shooting that left two people dead. As we reported, the gunman in that shooting, Gregory Alan Bush, attempted to gain access to the church prior to killing two Black people in the grocery store.
“There were 70 people here at our weekly meeting service just an hour before he came by,” Billy Williams, the church's administrator, said. “I’m just thankful that all of our doors and security was in place.”
Now the church's pastor, Reverend Kevin Nelson, wants the congregation to take its safety into its own hands, WFLA reports.
Church officials are asking members with law enforcement and security experience to help hired guards keep worshipers safe by bringing their guns with them to church.
"One of our members saw [the shooter] here," Nelson said. "Had we opened the door, he would have had the advantage and someone would have been killed or injured."
Seven church members have been tapped for the new security detail. Nelson said members with concealed carry permits will be allowed to brings their firearms into services as well just as long as they first notify church leadership.
"We've always had security, but each time these incidents happened, it just helps us to realize we need to tighten our security," Nelson said. "Had anyone opened that door, they would have been shot 'cause [Bush] had his hand on his gun at that point."
Perry Waiters, who attends the church, said the reverend has made the right call.
“If someone had opened the doors, it could have been a disaster,” Waiters said. "So if it’s what you have to do to remain safe then, I’m all for it.”
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