The senior pastor of a black congregation in Nebraska wants to assure worshippers church remains a safe place and no one should be afraid to enter the doors of a church at any time.
The Rev. Selwyn Bachus, the leader of Salem Baptist Church in northeast Omaha, admits what happened in Charleston, South Carolina has unnerved him.
His remarks come in wake of the tragic shooting deaths of nine people attending Bible study at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday night. A young white man has been arrested and charged with a hate crime.
Bachus does say this is cause for churches to revisit their safety procedures.
“When there is a violent act at a church anywhere across the country, our leadership gets together and has a discussion about it and takes an assessment of what we have in place security-wise, worship-wise and access to our building, it causes us to really look at it,” Bachus says. “Even with previous acts this is such a heinous act that it is really going to cause us to look at what we do and how we do it in a way we have not previously.”
Bachus says the members of his congregation have made a statement that they do not want guns in their place of worship. He says they don’t “pat down” those entering the church and hope it doesn’t come to that, but they have made a public statement they do not want people entering their buildings with guns.
He says he will counsel his congregants to the best of his ability and stress to them to keep their faith strong.