At two minutes past three o’clock Pastor Ron Wheeler walks into the Church security committee meeting, while taking a seat at the head of the table, he says, “Men I do not want us to forget what happened at Wedgewood Baptist Church.”
“Do you remember the horror of that night?”
He takes a drink of old coffee in a white Styrofoam cup.
He leaned forward and looked seriously into the eyes of every man in the room and said, “On September 15, 1999 seven people were wounded and eight people were killed, that includes the shooter that took his own pathetic life. I don’t want that to happen here!”
Lonnie Sanders spoke up and said, “Pastor I remember that night like it was yesterday. My first thought was – isn’t God’s house sacred anymore?”
Ricky Clark said, “Men, we’ve been blessed in the fact that we’ve never faced anything like that before, and I’d ……”
“Our Church is a safe haven!” Deacon Butler shouted. “We’ve never had any problems like Wedgewood or any other big city Church and we’re never gonna! I don’t want a bunch of rules, regulations, cameras, and men running around my Church with loaded guns. I hope you men don’t get carried away with this security business and start running around like a bunch of Barney Fifes. My God, we are a church!”
“This may be a Church,” said Lonnie Sanders, “But we have the responsibility of keeping over one thousand boys, girls, babies, men and women safe every Sunday. If we don’t have a plan, then nobody else will.”
Deacon Butler jumped up pointing a finger at Pastor Ron while walking for the closed door. Before opening and slamming the door the old deacon bitingly said, “You started this nonsense Preacher, and I suppose the next thing you’ll do is have a pistol in the pulpit!”
The door slams and an edgy silence floods the room.
“Men, I’m not trying to stir things up here, Ah …I… I’m trying to be the shepherd of our flock,” said the Pastor. “We have to make sure our people are protected from the crazies out there. Our culture is changing.”
“I’m with you Pastor,” affirmed Ricky Clark.
“You can count on me too,” said Lonnie Sanders.
“Men if we fail to plan, we plan to fail,” the Pastor said with a ring of conviction in his voice. “We need to make plans for the worst possible scenario even though we live in smaller city than Dallas.”
“That’s right Pastor … praise God, knock on wood (three raps could be heard) with all the Meth and drug use going on, we don’t know what kind of disturbed person will walk through our doors,” said Lonnie.
“As chairman of this committee, I’m going to start calling other churches around the country and get their security plans and I’m going to start this process tomorrow,” said Ricky Clark.
Ricky looked at Lonnie and said, “I want you to start enlisting the men in our church that are serving or have served in law enforcement. We need them in our next meeting. We need their counsel. Will you do that, Lonnie?”
“Yes, I will and I’m going to talk to my cousin about his church procedures. They just went through all this planning several months ago. Maybe we can learn from a church that is a couple of steps ahead of us.”
Mrs. Sherrod the church secretary forcefully knocks on the conference room door, then pushes it open.
“Pastor, you can’t believe what has happened! There has been a shooting this morning in Colorado Springs … four people are dead at New Life Church.”
“Dear God,” sighed the Pastor.
“My seminary buddy, Brady Boyd just went there as Senior Pastor.”
“Men we’ve got a serious task before us. Some of our people aren’t going to understand what we’re doing. It’s very clear to me. We’re going to meet again next Sunday at three o’clock. Now, let’s pray for this Church in Colorado.”
The men bow their heads in unison. The Pastor pushes his chair from the table and gets on his knees.
As Mrs. Sherrod returns to her desk, the phone is ringing.
“Yes, Deacon Butler, we heard the news.”
“Yes, Deacon Butler, I’ll tell the Pastor you called.”
“The Pastor will understand; I’ll share with him your deepest apology.”
“Thank you, Lord,” says Mrs. Sherrod as she reaches for the box of Kleenex.
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