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FL Faith Leaders Respond to Texas Church Massacre


November 6, 2017


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202)735-7123

Joey McKinnon, jmckinnon@faithinpubliclife.org, (843)364-4403

FL Faith Leaders Respond to Texas Church Massacre

Tallahassee, Fla. — On Sunday, a gunman opened fire on parishioners at a service at a small Baptist church in rural Texas, killing at least 26 people. The gunman, who died shortly after the attack, was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and child.

Faith leaders in Florida issued the following statements:​

Rev. Susan Rogers, The Well At Springfield Cooperative Baptist Church, (Jacksonville):

“The news of another mass shooting, this time in a small town church in Texas, is heartbreaking. We lift up in love all those who have been impacted by this massacre. As fellow Baptists, we must mourn with those who mourn, and we must also change our ways. That change though does not look like more guns in churches. Quite the opposite. The way forward must involve better gun regulations and more accountability. The way forward must involve addressing the root causes of the outrageous number of mass murders happening in our country.​

Fr. Rudolph Clear, retired Roman Catholic Priest, Management Director, Project GRADY-RAYAM (Orlando):

“The Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church shootings are a tragedy, especially because houses of worship have traditionally been regarded as sacred spaces – hallowed ground. It strains credulity to hear of anyone entering a place of worship with the intent to threaten, intimidate, harm or kill others. It is not the Christian way.”​

Rev. Joe Parramore, New Journey Ministries (Tallahassee):

“While our hearts will weep in sorrow of the senseless act of violence that occurred at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, it resolves our strength to continue to fight for greater gun control legislation. Furthermore, the statements of Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, are beyond reprehensible and godless. Now is the time for the community of faith to rise with a united voice.”


Faith in Public Life is a strategy center for the faith community advancing faith in the public square as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good.

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