A informational meeting for church leaders looking to protect their congregations is set for 7 p.m. on Monday at the Mulberry Community Center.
Mulberry Mayor Gary Baxter has scheduled an informational session to allow area pastors to meet with local and state law enforcement officers and concealed handgun safety instructors, he said.
“Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown, representatives for the Arkansas State Police, local law enforcement officers, and concealed carry instructors will present you with informational tools you need to know on how to protect your membership,” Baxter wrote in a letter sent out to local pastors.
In light of the fatal shooting that happened on Sunday, Nov. 5, at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, church leaders are evaluating actions they need to take to protect their congregations, Baxter said.
On Nov. 5, 26-year-old Devin P. Kelley, upset with his mother-in-law, went to her church with an assault rifle and killed 26 people and injured 20 others, according to reports.
Baxter’s informational meeting is meant to help church leaders in their decision-making process about protection for their churches after this incident, he said.
“Unfortunate tragedies happen in rural churches as well as in large cities and towns,” Baxter said. “Please be prepared with legal, practical and effective actions to take.”
All area church leaders of every denomination are invited to attend, Baxter said. He suggested that those who cannot attend send a member of their congregation.
“The size of your congregation does not matter,” Baxter said. “What matters is that you are prepared.”
The informational session will be held at Mulberry Community Center at 29 Kirksey Parkway.
“Your church members will thank you for demonstrating your concern for their safety,” Baxter said.