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  1. #1
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Why I carry my gun in church

    MARYVILLE, Ill. – A pastor shot and killed during his Sunday sermon deflected the first of the gunman's four rounds with a Bible, sending a confetti-like spray of paper into the air in a horrifying scene that congregants initially thought was a skit, police said.


    The gunman strode down the aisle of the sprawling First Baptist Church shortly after 8 a.m. and briefly spoke with The Rev. Fred Winters, then pulled out a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol and began firing until it jammed, Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent said. Churchgoers wrestled the gunman to the ground as he waved a knife, slashing himself and two other people, Trent said.


    None of the about 150 congregants seemed to recognize the gunman and investigators do not know details of Winters' conversation with him, but they planned to review an audio recording of the service, Trent said. The service was not videotaped.


    "We thought it was part of a drama skit ... when he shot, what you saw was confetti," said congregant Linda Cunningham, whose husband is a minister of adult education at the church. "We just sat there waiting for what comes next, not realizing that he had wounded the pastor."
    Winters had stood on an elevated platform to deliver his sermon about finding happiness in the workplace and managed to run halfway down the sanctuary's side aisle before collapsing, Cunningham said.


    Two congregants tackled the gunman as he pulled the 4-inch knife, and all three were stabbed, police said. The gunman suffered "a pretty serious wound to the neck" while one congregant had lower back wounds, Trent said.


    Congregants knocked the gunman between sets of pews, then held him down until police arrived, said church member Don Bohley, who was just outside the sanctuary when the shooting began.
    "People came running out and told us to call 911," said Bohley, 72.
    Winters was pronounced dead at Anderson Hospital, hospital spokeswoman Natalie Head said.


    Authorities didn't know whether Winters, a married father of two who had led the church for nearly 22 years, knew the gunman. Police described the gunman as a 27-year-old from nearby Troy but would not release his name pending possible charges.


    Trent said investigators had not immediately uncovered evidence of a criminal background or mental illness.


    "We don't know the relationship (between the gunman and pastor), why he's here or what the circumstances came about that caused him in the first place to be here," said Illinois State Police Master Trooper Ralph Timmins.


    The Rev. Mark Jones, another pastor at First Baptist, said he briefly saw the gunman but not the shooting, though he heard a sound like miniature firecrackers.


    "We have no idea what this guy's motives were," Jones said outside the church.


    The gunman and 39-year-old congregant Terry Bullard underwent surgery at St. Louis University Hospital and were in serious condition Sunday evening, spokeswoman Laura Keller said. The other victim, Keith Melton, was treated and released from Gateway Regional Medical Center.
    "I would call it heroic," Trent said. "While many understandably were stuck to their seats, they took to action."


    First Baptist had an average attendance of 32 people when Winters became senior pastor in 1987; it now has about 1,200 members, according to the church's Web site. Winters also was former president of the Illinois Baptist State Association and an adjunct professor for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, according to the site.


    "Our great God is not surprised by this, or anything," Nate Adams, executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association, said in a statement. "That He allows evil and free will to have their way in tragedies like this is a mystery in many ways."



    The red brick church sits along a busy two-lane highway on the east side of Maryville, a fast-growing village of more than 7,000 about 20 miles northeast of St. Louis. A farm sits directly across from the church, but subdivisions of newer homes can be seen from every side.



    "Things like this just don't happen in Maryville," Mayor Larry Gulledge said. "We've lost one the pillars of our community, one of our leaders."
    Sharla Dryden, 62, pulled into the church parking lot for a 9:30 a.m. service Sunday to see "just a lot of chaos, lot of police, fire, and people just devastated."



    "I would have been devastated if anyone had been shot, but to hear it was the pastor was terrible," Dryden said. "You just never expect this to happen at a church."



    At Winters' two-story brick home in Edwardsville, several friends gathered to pay their respects but declined comment. Family members also declined comment.



    A statement on First Baptist's Web site asked for prayers for Winters' family, the congregants who tackled the gunman, the gunman and his family, and church members.



    More than 20 investigators remained inside the church hours after the shooting, said First Baptist spokesman Marty King. An evening prayer service was planned for members at Metro Community Church in nearby Edwardsville.



    Last month, a man shot and killed himself in front of a cross inside televangelist Robert H. Schuller's Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. In November, a gunman killed his estranged wife in a New Jersey church vestibule as Sunday services let out.



    In July, two people were killed and six wounded in a shooting rampage at the Tennessee Valley United Unitarian Church in Knoxville, Tenn. An out-of-work truck driver who police say targeted the church for its liberal leanings pleaded guilty to the shootings and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.



    Police: Ill. pastor deflected gunshot with Bible
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  2. #2
    Jenna's Avatar
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    May the pastor rest in peace.

  3. #3
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    JSO85360 is offline Coming soon through a door near you!
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    My mother totally came unglued when she found I always brought my gun into G'ds House. She wouldn't speak to me for weeks. I finally told her that it was either I come armed, or I don't come at all. I never really found it necessary to be a part of an organized religious group anyway. I can pray all by myself, or in a tree stand, or patrol car. I can say that I've never really had any prayers or questions answered, and I always figured that there were too many other people that needed to be tended too, and the Lord knew that I could handle my own problems. In today’s world, he's spread too thin.
    The six o'clock rule
    I tell them to act according to the six o'clock rule, a phrase that causes most of them to say, "Huh?"
    I tell them to use this little test before they decide to do something. If they were to do what they're thinking about, and it became the lead story on the six o'clock news, would they be proud? Would their department be proud, and would their family be proud? It's a simple way to live your life both personally and professionally.

    Bruce Thomason


    "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." Mark Twain



  4. #4
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSO85360 View Post
    My mother totally came unglued when she found I always brought my gun into G'ds House. She wouldn't speak to me for weeks. I finally told her that it was either I come armed, or I don't come at all. I never really found it necessary to be a part of an organized religious group anyway. I can pray all by myself, or in a tree stand, or patrol car. I can say that I've never really had any prayers or questions answered, and I always figured that there were too many other people that needed to be tended too, and the Lord knew that I could handle my own problems. In today’s world, he's spread too thin.

    Wow.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  5. #5
    pgg's Avatar
    pgg
    pgg is online now Damnit, I'm hungry again.
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    I hardly go myself, but when I do I'm armed also.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” Sigmund Freud

  6. #6
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Amen.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  7. #7
    JSO85360's Avatar
    JSO85360 is offline Coming soon through a door near you!
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    The last time I went was to honor a fallen brother, Christopher Kane, 8/23/70-9/4/08. I did pretty good till we were at graveside, and the dispatcher's voice came over the speaker and gave his call sign, and logged him 10-82, ending his tour of duty. Damn, I didn't need to think about this tonight.
    The six o'clock rule
    I tell them to act according to the six o'clock rule, a phrase that causes most of them to say, "Huh?"
    I tell them to use this little test before they decide to do something. If they were to do what they're thinking about, and it became the lead story on the six o'clock news, would they be proud? Would their department be proud, and would their family be proud? It's a simple way to live your life both personally and professionally.

    Bruce Thomason


    "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." Mark Twain



  8. #8
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSO85360 View Post
    The last time I went was to honor a fallen brother, Christopher Kane, 8/23/70-9/4/08. I did pretty good till we were at graveside, and the dispatcher's voice came over the speaker and gave his call sign, and logged him 10-82, ending his tour of duty. Damn, I didn't need to think about this tonight.
    I'm sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace.

  9. #9
    MacLean's Avatar
    MacLean is offline O/R Gun mod
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    I'm armed every where I legally can be, or I don't go.

    Wrestling with a guy who has a knife could have been avoided with some well placed contact shots.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  10. #10
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    I'm armed every where I legally can be, or I don't go.
    Everywhere except the shower for me.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  11. #11
    Hannibal's Avatar
    Hannibal is offline Zombie Killin' Sheepdog
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    I haven't been to church in a while, for many of the same reasons JSO mentioned. You bet your ass though that I would be armed if I were to go. I carry everywhere, with very (very very) few exceptions.

    "Stupid should hurt."

  12. #12
    TXPO710's Avatar
    TXPO710 is offline Dumb ole' Cowboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    "That He allows evil and free will to have their way in tragedies like this is a mystery in many ways."
    I think He's trying to tell you to buy a gun and learn to use it.

    I don't leave the house without packing. Buy the way, stainless guns were made for the shower.

  13. #13
    Hannibal's Avatar
    Hannibal is offline Zombie Killin' Sheepdog
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    By the way, these aren't exactly the words of a pacifist:

    Luke 11:21- When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace

    Luke 22:36 - He that hath no sword should sell his cloak and buy one

    Matthew 5:9- Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called the sons of God

    Romans 12:21- Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil by good

    Romans 13:4 - if you do evil be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer

    Psalm 23:4 - Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff shall comfort me

    Psalm 144:1-3 - Praise be to the LORD, my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

    Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword

    1 Samuel 17:49 – David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with a sling, and struck the Philistine [Goliath] in the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell prostrate to the ground.

    "Stupid should hurt."

 

 

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