A gunman opened fire in the sanctuary of a southwest Missouri, USA, church Sunday Aug. 12, 2007, killing a pastor and two worshippers and wounding several others.
My condolences go out to the local congregation, friends and family of the worshippers who were holding the service at the First Congregational Church.
This abominable act is not the first time that churchgoers have been attacked whilst worshipping their Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
In 2004 one of the most dreadful campaigns of mass murder was unleashed upon the Tutsi people of Rwanda. In just 100 days more people were slaughtered, many in churches, than have died from atomic weapons in all of history.
Dr Peter Hammond’s book “Holocaust in Rwanda” documents how gun control, media manipulation, liberal church leaders and the U.N. played a role in this disaster.
When I visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a missionary, I was told of rebel soldiers burying Rev. Mungomba, the pastor of a local church, alive in 2001. His congregation refused to stop praying as demanded by the rebels. Two evangelists were cut up in pieces by rebels in 1998 and 2002 respectively. It is very difficult for armed thugs to perform such tyranny if the local population were legally allowed to be armed and could defend themselves.
I, too, have lived through a church being attacked, and am blessed to be able to tell the story:
It was a typical winter’s evening in Cape Town, dark and dismal. The St. James Church was not as full as it usually was. There were slightly fewer than the approximately 1,500 worshippers it normally held, which was probably due to the cold and rain.
Two young members of the congregation stood up and ministered to us in song, when a scuffle at the front door, to the left of the stage, drew our attention.
A chaotic scene unfolded before us. Grenades were exploding in flashes of light. Pews shattered under the blasts, sending splinters flying through the air. An automatic assault rifle was being fired and was fast ripping the pews – and whoever, whatever was in its trajectory – to pieces. We were being attacked.
Instinctively, I knelt down behind the bench in front of me and pulled out my .38 Special snub-nosed revolver, which I always carried with me.
The congregation had thrown themselves down – in order to protect themselves as far as possible from the deluge of flying bullets and shrapnel. By God’s grace, the view of the terrorists from my seat, fourth row from the back of the church, was perfect. The building was built like a cinema with the floor sloping towards the stage in front. So without any hesitation, I knelt and aimed, firing two shots at the attackers. This appeared ineffective, as my position was too far from my targets to take precise aim with a snub-nosed revolver. I had to get closer to the terrorists.
So I started moving to the end of the pew on my haunches and leopard crawled the rest of the way when I realised that my position was too high up. The only way I could stop their vicious attack, was to try and move in behind them and then shoot them in the back at close range.
I sprinted to the back door of the church, pushing a lady out of the way, so that I could kick the door open and not be hindered as I sought to get behind the gunmen to neutralise their attack.
As I desperately rounded the corner of the building, outside in the parking area, I saw a man standing next to what was the “getaway” car. Resting on his hip was his automatic rifle. The man was looking in the direction of the door through which they had launched their attack.
I stepped back behind the corner of the wall and prepared to blast the last of my firepower. I strode out in full view of the terrorist and shot my last three rounds. By this time, the others were already in the car. My target jumped into the vehicle and the driver sped away immediately, leaving behind the acrid stench of burning tyres and exhaust fumes.
I remember thinking, “Lord why haven’t I got more ammunition?”
I ran across the road to the house of a neighbour and jumped over the fence. Knocking on the door I shouted,
“Call the police, there’s been an attack!”
Eleven people were murdered and 53 injured that fateful evening.
This kind of thuggery usually takes place amongst unarmed civilians. When last did you hear of multiple victim shootings taking place in police stations, on firearm ranges or at gun shows anywhere in the world? No, homicidal maniacs prefer unarmed victims, i.e., usually soft targets in gun free zones.