LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – On a typical Sunday, a church congregation would spend their day in service, studying the bible. On Sunday, the lesson plan was extended to include tips that could save their life.
Gaines Street Baptist Church held an active shooter training for its members today, preparing them for when life takes an unexpected turn.
Churches and places of worship have been targeted in the past, and members like Angela Hampton said this was a great way to prepare, hoping they will never actually have to use what they learned.
“We’re all like a family, all of us are so close-knit, we talk to each other outside of just Wednesdays and Sundays,” Hampton said.
Sitting side by side, friends become like family, and just like one, they want to do anything to keep each other safe.
“It’s perfect that we’re getting the opportunity to actually learn what we should do opposed to what we think we should do,” Hampton said.
Gaines Street Baptist Church was the center of an active shooter training led by LRPD Officer Henry Moore. He walked members through the past, teaching them how to protect themselves in dangerous situations.
It’s something the church never wanted to include its Sunday sermon says Senior Pastor J. Barrington Minix Sr.
“Unfortunately, in the times that we are living, we found it a necessity to have an active shooter training,” Minix Sr. said.
“This is a church, it’s what we call our sanctuary and by virtue of the definition itself, a sanctuary is a safe place, and we want to keep our safe place, our safe place,” Minix Sr. said.
Members said the training only brought them closer together, creating a plan for a play they never have to execute.
“We’re hoping and praying nothing does happen, but if it does, we’re glad that we’ll know what to do,” Hampton said.
Members of the congregation say that church is not a place they feel they should have to worry about their safety, but it can never hurt to be prepared and trained on what to do if it does.