08 Nov 2018 Pastor Explains “Obligation to Protect My Flock” With a Gun
When Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II was younger, he remembers his Uncle John – a pastor at a Washington, D.C. church – carrying a gun during services. “I remember thinking it was funny at the time, but now here I am… essentially doing the exact same thing that I laughed at my Uncle John for.”
Council is now rector of St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania as well as a Pennsylvania state constable. Recent shootings involving religious institutions led him to begin carrying his service weapon in church. He discussed this decision with WMAL-Washington, D.C. talk radio hosts Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese.
In making his decision to carry a weapon at St. Alban’s, Council said:
People who church should be free to worship freely and not be concerned about who may open the door with evil intent… and try to do harm and disrupt the worship of God.
He noted that well-known megachurches already have “lots of security measures in place,” including armed security and metal detectors. But these measures are “simply cost-prohibitive for most churches across America. And that’s certainly the case with my parish.”
Council merged his two callings to provide security to his congregation. He explained:
As a law enforcement officer who is concerned about the welfare of people in general, who happens to be a pastor, I feel an obligation to make sure I’m able to protect my flock if something should transpire…
I’d like to think that people who come to our parish are free to just worship and not worry about the outside concerns.
In addition to this morning drive-time interview, excerpts of Council’s interview were played throughout the day during the popular station’s newscasts.