The homicidal home invasion that left a pastor’s pregnant wife dead in Indianapolis, Indiana, is proof that “evil is a reality.”
That’s according to Pastor Carl Gallups, the author of “Be Thou Prepared,” who said believers must recognize what he calls the “reality of evil” and make preparations to defend themselves.
Killed in the attack was Amanda Blackburn, the wife of Pastor Davey Blackburn of Resonate Church in Indianapolis. She died Wednesday morning after being shot in the head the day before in a home invasion. She was 28 years old – and 12 weeks pregnant.
Her husband returned from his morning workout Tuesday to find his wife mortally wounded. The couple’s one year old son, Weston, was in the house at the time of the attack but was unharmed.
“This heinous murder should remind us how important it is to take every reasonable safety measure in defending our homes and families,” Gallups told WND. “We are living in increasingly troubled times. Evil is a reality that must be acknowledged and fervently plotted against. This truth is applicable to our homes, daily routine, and even our church facilities. We simply don’t have the luxury of thinking that just because we are inside our homes or churches we are in a foolproof safe haven.
“Of course, we don’t yet know all the details in this particular case. But, even if every logical safety precaution is taken, there is still no guarantee that evil people won’t figure out a way to prevail in a premeditated attack. Nonetheless, I am a strong advocate of encouraging people, and especially God’s people, to give serious consideration to strengthening home and personal security measures wherever it is possible to do so.”
Pastor Blackburn issued a statement, declaring: “I have not only lost my ministry partner and support but also my very best friend. There is no way to prepare yourself for circumstances like these. As deeply as I am hurting I am hopeful and confident that good things will come of this. I rest in the truth of Romans 8:28 that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.”
Despite a reward offered by the organization CrimeStoppers for information leading to an arrest, as of this writing police had not detained any suspects. At least one other home in the neighborhood was robbed just hours before Blackburn was shot, but it is unknown if the incidents are related.
The murder ripped apart a growing family that had been defined by a call to ministry. Amanda Blackburn’s father is a pastor at the First Baptist Church of Elkhart, Indiana. Pastor Davey Blackburn’s father, David Blackburn Sr., is a pastor in North Carolina. Both Amanda and Davey Blackburn were graduates of Southern Wesleyan University and planted a church in Indianapolis with the help of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. Blackburn had previously worked at NewSpring as a youth pastor, production director, and associate campus pastor.
Gallups, of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, Florida, mourned the loss of Amanda Blackburn and joined the nationwide prayers on her behalf.
“My heart breaks for this pastor, their family, and the large church communities that are directly linked to the young family,” he told WND. “I know that I have already made them the object of my ardent prayers. They are blessed to have a strong faith-support family to see them through this crushing heartbreak. In my many years of ministry I have pastored through a number of tragic circumstances – only to watch the Lord work in the midst of the circumstances and bring others to salvation, healing, and repentance. I have seen this phenomenon repeatedly. This is how the Lord can bring good, even in the midst of out-and-out evil. I am confident that He will work similarly in this situation.”
Resonate Church posted a note following Amanda Blackburn’s death which read: “Extremely heavy hearts today. Our Pastor’s wife Amanda Blackburn passed away this morning. Please pray for the Blackburns and Byars family during this difficult time. Although we are hurting tremendously, we are still hoping and believing that great things are still yet to come from this! ‘Although we don’t know what to do, our eyes are on you’.”
Gallups, said the way the church community has pulled together shows why it is so important for individuals to be part of a larger group which can provide support in troubled times.
“This is exactly why I am constantly encouraging people to turn to the Lord and then to unite themselves with a strong, biblically centered faith-community – especially in the tumultuous times in which we are now living,” he observed. “Use your life, as often as it is possible, to be a blessing to others – especially those who are hurting, traumatized, and grief stricken. It is in the course of living our lives as people of faith and community that God equips us to live victorious lives, even in the face of unthinkable tragedy.”
The author of “Be Thou Prepared,” said in the end, the most important thing a person can do is “be right with the Creator through a born again relationship with Jesus Christ, as none of us are guaranteed another moment of life in this physical realm.”
And the importance of that mission means that Pastor Davey Blackburn will remain at work.
“Amanda made it her life’s calling to love and serve everyone she knew. Even more, she has made it her life’s mission to see as many people as possible come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. I know that in her death and legacy even more people will come to a saving faith in Christ. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt her desire for me would be to continue what we’ve started here in Indy,” he said.