It’s one thing to sit on the outside looking in, as many anti-gunners tend to do concerning concealed firearms in churches. It’s another thing, entirely, to stand in the pulpit of your small church, think about recent violent attacks and realize your church members could easily be gunned down by a violent criminal who cares nothing about innocent lives.
That’s why Rev. Brenda Stevenson, lead pastor of New Outreach Christian Church in North Charlotte, N.C., has purchased a firearm on layaway and plans to keep it near the pulpit once she has received her concealed-carry permit. The pastor said donations from people across the country helped her pay for the gun, which will remain in layaway until she has received proper training. “It’s just so much is going on in this world,” Rev. Stevenson said. “We just want to make sure that people can come to church and serve God without being afraid.”
“We know God is with us—we just want to get those two new members,” Stevenson told Charlotte’s Channel 9.
In this case, the two new members Stevenson is referring to are Smith & Wesson. And her church members have voiced support for her move. In fact, according to a report in The Herald, many have decided to get carry permits, too.
Stevenson’s announcement has drawn very little fire from the typical anti-gun suspects, who falsely proclaim that good guys with guns never stop bad guys with guns. But with the resolve she has shown in telling the world about her plans, it’s doubtful she would be deterred by the likes of Michael Bloomberg or Shannon Watts.
“It’s just so much is going on in this world,” Stevenson said. “We just want to make sure that people can come to church and serve God without being afraid.”
In the many states that don’t outright ban guns in church, choosing to carry or not carry a concealed firearm is a difficult decision for many churchgoers. Fortunately, freedom dictates that the decision is a personal one and shouldn’t be made by those who have never set foot in the church in question—those who won’t be endangered by proclaiming it a “gun-free” zone.
I applaud Stevenson’s dedication to protecting her congregation, and I pray that she never has to use the gun in defense of herself and her flock. But if she does, I hope that she shoots straight and quickly ends whatever threat might confront her and her people.