Growing Number of Detroit Pastors Wear Handguns in Pulpit

Thursday , October 01, 2009

DETROIT —The Rev. Lawrence Adams teaches his flock at the Westside Bible Church to turn the other cheek. Just in case, though, the 54-year-old retired police lieutenant also wears a handgun under his robe.

Adams is one of several Detroit clergymen who have taken to packing heat in the pulpit. They have committed their lives to a man who preached nonviolence and told followers to love their enemies. But they also say it’s up to them to protect their parishioners in church.

“As a pastor, I’m referred to as a shepherd,” Adams said. “Shepherds have the responsibility of watching over their flock. Do I want to hurt somebody? Absolutely not!” (more…)

Sense of Sanctuary Lost As Church Attacks Spike

String of Shootings Includes Md. Death

By William Wan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The youth choir belted out “O Happy Day” as folks trickled in through the church doors. Few noticed the accountant sitting in the back pew, his eyes flickering over each latecomer.

In one hand, he held a Bible. In the other, tucked inside his coat pocket, he gripped a .38 caliber revolver.

He had come to People’s Community Baptist Church in Silver Spring looking for his estranged wife. And once she arrived and began arguing with him outside, the Bible would be forgotten. The gun would be raised. And in a matter of seconds, the congregation’s sense of sanctuary would be shattered.
(more…)

Two victims in Anna, IL church attack – Sept 28, 2009

ANNA, IL (KFVS) –

Anna police are looking for the person who broke into a church and brutally attacked two elderly women.

Authorities tell us someone broke into the First Baptist Church between 2:00p.m. and 4:15p.m Monday afternoon.

Investigators said the pastor was inside the church at the time of the attack but didn’t hear anything.

The women were taken to Union County hospital and later Flown to a Cape Girardeau hospital.

Right now police do not have any suspects or a motive for the attack.

Update

Authorities have released the names of the two victims of Monday’s violent attack inside the First Baptist Church of Anna.

One victim has been identified as Mary Shepard, 69, who serves as the church secretary and treasurer.  The second is Leona Mount, 76, a cleaning woman.  Both were rushed to the hospital to receive care for their injuries.

Authorities say two women were attacked and severely injured inside a church in the small southern Illinois community of Anna.

Mount was taken to a St. Louis hospital to be treated for her injuries.  Shepard is being treated in Cape Girardeau.

Police found Shepard in a church office and Mount in a classroom.

Pastor Tony Foeller says new secruity measures have already been put into place at the church.  He was services will continue as scheduled.

Both women were listed in stable condition.  Authorities say their injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Tony Foeller says the motives behind the attack aren’t clear. He notes that nothing was taken.

Further information will be posted as it becomes available.

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ANNA, IL (KFVS) – Emergency crews rushed two women to St. Francis Medical Center Monday night after a violent attack in Anna, IL.

Police said someone broke into the Anna First Baptist church between 2:00 to 4:15 p.m. and attacked the women.

Anna police chief Dale Foster told Heartland News robbery appeared to be the motive. Chief Foster said a person or persons went into the church through a door that’s kept unlocked. Police said the suspect then assaulted the two women who work there.

Chief Foster said the women are in their late 60’s. The church pastor discovered the women in the office and called police shortly after 4. Foster said the pastor was also in the church at the time of the assault but didn’t hear any commotion because his door was shut and the air condition unit was running.

Crime scene investigators were on scene most of the evening Monday looking for clues and going door to door to talk to neighbors. Authorities said they don’t have a lot of information and people who live near the church at the corner of Morgan and High streets need to be on guard.

Church Deacons plan on holding a prayer service for the two women Tuesday near the church.

Anna First posted this message on their website.  “On Monday afternoon, September 28th, two of our church employees were brutally attacked and beaten. Both ladies were taken immediately to a local hospital then subsequently air-lifted to the trauma center at St. Francis Hospital in Cape Girardeau, MO. One of the ladies is still at St. Francis under observation in the ICU. The other lady was air-lifted to St. Louis University Hospital and is awaiting surgery. Both are now stable and doing as well as can be expected. Please check back for updates throughout the day as they become available. Your prayers are appreciated.”

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Five Arrested in Bishop’s Shooting – Sept 16, 2009

Suspects were allegedly on robbery spree.

Five men were arrested today on suspicion of shooting a clergyman outside his parish in Home Gardens, allegedly targeting the victim during a robbery spree in Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

Willis Bagley, 38, of Perris; Jacob Buschow, 19, of Pomona; Anthony Coleman, 21, of Chino; Timothy Jacqueman, 18, of Pomona; and Andrew Swindle, 23, of Pomona, are accused of shooting Bishop Antonio Garduno, 51, outside Our Lady of Tepeyac at 13462 Magnolia Ave. around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the victim went into the church courtyard to investigate a suspicious noise and was confronted by the suspects, one of whom opened fire.

Garduno managed to get back into the church and dial 911. He remains in stable condition at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley, sheriff’s officials said.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez, the suspects on Tuesday afternoon began what would become a 10-hour crime spree, starting at a House of Pancakes in the 18000 block of Gale Avenue in Industry.

After robbing the restaurant around 2:30 p.m., the men proceeded to a Denny’s eatery at 1425 Nogales St. in nearby Rowland Heights, where they committed another robbery, Gutierrez said.

He said the suspects held up a Denny’s at 3012 Temple Ave. in Pomona at 3:15 p.m.

“This was a very extensive, large-scale crime spree,” Gutierrez said.

He said investigators have not been able to account for the men’s whereabouts during the roughly six and a half hours between the robbery in Pomona and the shooting outside the church in Home Gardens.

“It’s purely speculative, but they could have gone to another restaurant, and it was too busy, so they went by the church,” the sergeant said.

He said the suspects may have intended to rob the bishop.

After the shooting, the men went to a Denny’s restaurant in the 1300 block of Hamner Avenue in Norco, where Bagley allegedly walked inside the restaurant with a handgun in his waistband and demanded money.

After leaving with an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspects allegedly robbed another Denny’s at 2379 Compton Ave. in Corona, authorities said.

A Corona police sergeant heard the report and spotted the suspects’ vehicle, an older green sedan, in the area, according to Corona police Sgt. Jon Stofila. He said the sergeant tailed the vehicle several miles to the Pomona (60) Freeway and Milliken Avenue in Ontario, where the suspects were pulled over.

Jacqueman, who was driving, exited the car, but as he was being detained, “Coleman … jumped behind the wheel and fled” with the other men, said Stofila.

Corona police pursued the suspects into Rancho Cucamonga, where California Highway Patrol officers took over the chase, according to Stofila.

He said Coleman collided with another vehicle, and the pursuit came to end, with the remaining suspects surrendering without incident.

Several handguns and long rifles were recovered from the vehicle, authorities said.

According to Gutierrez, the suspects were expected to be booked into Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of attempted murder, armed robbery, weapons and parole violations.

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Video of local news report

Bishop wounded in shooting at Southern California church- Sept 16, 2009

RIVERSIDE — Authorities say a bishop has been wounded in a shooting on the grounds of a Riverside County church.Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez of the Riverside County sheriff’s office says Bishop Antonio Garduno suffered non-life threatening injuries when he was shot Tuesday night at Our Lady of Tepeyac church in the Home Gardens community.

He says Garduno was shot in the church’s courtyard, where he discovered four boys. He says police believe the shooting happened during an attempted robbery.

Gutierrez says Garduno was in stable condition at Riverside County Regional Medical Center.

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