Security measures in place at Chico church before Texas shooting
CHICO, Calif. - On Sunday, Pastor Tim Ruhl of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church will try to provide comfort to his 1,100 parishioners, many of whom are troubled by what happened Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas when a gunman took the lives of 26 worshipers.
Ruhl said that it's a painful reality that a disaster like this could happen anywhere.
"It's not a fair world," said Ruhl. "We live in a sin-cursed world."
Keeping that sin from penetrating the church doors is also a job that clergy need to consider nowadays.
But security has been a high priority for Pleasant Valley Baptist Church since 2006 when it created a security team of approximately a dozen trained men and women who walk the perimeter and are stationed inside the building during their three Sunday services.
Ruhl declined to say if the security is armed.
"You never want to breach your own security system," said Ruhl. "So you don't want to tell everyone what your own security system does."
"But they are well-trained and continually get training sessions," he said.
Parishioners are grateful for the extra attention the church provides to keep them and their families safe and allows them to better concentrate on the worship service.
"You just want to be assured that (security) is here in case anything does arise," said Katherine Stalions who has attended the church for 27 years. "I think it's the wise thing to do to be prepared."
"I believe we have an excellent model (for security)," said Ruhl. " I believe we've got to do what we can do so God can do what God needs to do."
Ruhl doesn't expect his flock to hide in fear on Sunday. In fact, he believes attendance will be larger on Sunday because of the massacre in Texas.
"They want to know that God is still on the throne and that God will take care of us," said Ruhl. "And He will."