KERNERSVILLE, N.C. – Pete Kunkle is the pastor at First Christian Church. He did something 10 years ago he’d never thought he’d have to do.
Kunkle prepared for the worst as he invested in security cameras and assembled a church security team.
It was an effort to stop a potential incident similar to what happened Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Twenty-six people were killed at First Baptist Church and several injured in the shooting.
“No rules to what they’re doing,” Kunkle said. “They just go in a do it and its just pure meanness, bitterness and hatred.”
He also took an extra step when it comes to church safety.
Every Sunday, you’ll find a Kernersville police vehicle in the church parking lot.
The department offers extra security for all churches during their time of Sunday worship.
“Sixteen years ago, I never thought churches would be a target,” Officer Frank Sanchez said.
Sanchez said the only thing he’d worry about were car break-ins when he first started patrolling churches.
Now, it’s an entire new level of security as he watches everyone in the church closely.
“We’re a little more worried about suspicious people, people who aren’t supposed to be here, people who might want to create some kind of chaos for whatever means,” Sanchez said.
Kunkle said to think churches were unsafe has never crossed his mind in his 41 years of being a pastor.
“It’s hard to believe that we’ve come to this place where people actually go in and shoot people in a church,” Kunkle said.