Local Church Reaction To Tennessee Church Shooting - Are Area Churches Safe? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/27/08

Local Church Reaction To Tennessee Church Shooting - Are Area Churches Safe?

A second victim died from wounds suffered in Sunday morning's church shooting in Tennessee. Jim Adkisson, 58, is charged with one count of first degree murder and jailed on a $1 million bond. Witnesses say he opened fire just after 10a.m. Sunday at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville. The Tennessee congregation is asking for your prayers to help them get through this tragedy.

Meanwhile, the shooting has churches across Lubbock asking the question - are they ready?

"We've looked at our facilities and said, OK, what is the safety of our campus? what are some deterrents," said Pastor of Victory Life Baptist Church, Brad Jerkovich.

And what the Victory Life Slide Road says to answer those questions is they are as ready as they can be.

"I don't think you can ever be 100% error free," said Pastor Jerkovich.

Jerkovich adds, "We've identified those paramedic folk who attend our church on a regular basis, the police personnel that attend our church, we know who the people our in our church body who are armed, and who are ready to respond in case of a catastrophe."

And though Jerkovich hasn't personally played witness to a catastrophe like a church shooting but he feels he knows what something like a church shooting can do to a church family.

"It brings everybody together. And I think you try to rally around that and say look, we have hope in Jesus Christ, we have hope because we're a community and we can be strong through this and I think it's just putting your arms around those families and saying let's walk people through this, lets help people through that," Jerkovich said.

And in the wake of Sunday's shooting in Tennessee, Jerkovich offers his church's hand to those in need so many miles away. Jerkovich said, "Whatever we can do to help, obviously we'll do whatever we can."

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