Congregants Choosing to Worship While Armed Post-Texas Attack

A memorial for the victims of the shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church includes 26 white chairs, each painted with a cross and and rose, is displayed in the church Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A man opened fire inside the church in the small South …
AP/Eric Gay

In the wake of the Texas church attack a Bible and a handgun have became the logical concealed carry combo for pastors and congregants throughout the country.

We have seen what happens when school teachers (Sandy Hook Elementary School), college students (Virginia Tech University), movie-goers (Aurora movie theater), and club patrons (Orlando Pulse), are unarmed, therefore defenseless. On November 5 we saw the horror wrought on unarmed individuals congregated in a church in Texas.

According to the Wall Street Journal, members of clergy and congregants alike are now choosing to bring their Bibles and their handguns to church, a way to feed the soul while being prepared to defend their lives. As Rt. Rev. Council Nedd II put on his robes to “offer Mass at his central Pennsylvania church,” he did so with the determination that he will carry a gun under his robe in the future.

Nedd said he does not believe guns belong in church but admitted that such a belief is now trumped by the reality that a bishop has “a responsibility to protect the flock.”

Prestonwood Baptist Church, which is located in Plano, Texas, reacted to the Sutherland Springs church attack by “[announcing] last week that it would be holding a free seminar on church security.” Although Prestonwood already has armed guards, the church’s pastor said he takes “comfort” in the knowledge that some congregants with concealed permits are carrying a gun as well.

Residents of towns within 15 or 30 miles of site of the Texas church attack talked of being concealed carry permit holders who either left their guns in cars or at home when they went to church. They made clear they will not be leaving their guns at home any more.

Mike Jordan, the father of one of the Texas church attack eyewitnesses, appeared on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle two days after the attack occurred. He stressed that people had come to church unarmed, and were therefore defenseless when killer Devin Kelley struck. Jordan said, “A small town like this, you know, people show up to church, they disarm, leave their guns in the car, because you don’t expect something like this to happen.”

But it did happen, and the nation watched in horror.

Jordan observed, “If you have one person on the inside that is armed to return fire, it may not have stopped people from dying, but it would have … been a distraction, it would have got that guy’s attention.”

The bottom line is that Americans have shared a widespread reticence to carry their guns in churches, even in states where such carry is legal. But the Texas attack reminded us that evil can strike anywhere, even within the confines of a house of worship. Going forward, more congregants and clergy will be singing Amazing Grace while packing a Smith & Wesson under their suit coat or a Glock 9mm in their purse.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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