Local pastors address safety following Texas church shooting - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local pastors address safety following Texas church shooting

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

The topic of safety isn't a new one for many churches in the Rockford area. 

"We've had shootings in the neighborhood over the past few months that has caused us to do a lock down right in the middle of our kids program

"It's horrific, but unfortunately now it's not surprising," said SecondFirst Church Reverend Rebecca Newgren.

But after the Texas church massacre, the question is coming up again.

"We've had more people wondering...when I come to Heartland, am I safe?" said lead pastor at Heartland Community Church Josh Peigh.

Heartland already has a team dedicated to security, but even Peigh says there's always concerns on how to stay safe.

"In the wake of a tragedy like this, we do look at all those measures again and make sure we are just as committed if something were to happen," said Peigh.

SecondFirst Church in downtown Rockford also takes precautions using volunteers to monitor its entrances.. 

"I take a lot of comfort knowing that we have security folks at the doors," said Newgren.

But while the safety of their congregants is a top priority...

"As a pastor you do feel great responsibility for everyone who walks through your door," said Peigh.

Church leaders say the risk of violence isn't going to keep them from coming to worship.

"we live with this call to love that doesn't live with fear that casts out fear, that's willing to risk." 

"For us to just be in our homes and be scared and not go to the mall, or the movie theater or the church or anywhere, that's not what we're being called to do in this world," said Newgren.

All of the church leaders we spoke with say they are praying for the victims of the Texas massacre.

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