Local Pastor Opens Up About Shooting Experience From His Past, Talks Church Security

"Those are some tough moments. They are defining moments..."

LUBBOCK, TX - Churches around Texas continued to process the tragic shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, a day later. One Lubbock pastor said the news brought up some difficult memories.

Senior Associate Pastor at Trinity Church JD Small was working at New Life church in Colorado, when the unimaginable happened. 

"December 9, 2007 a gunman came on the campus in the afternoon after the Sunday services, took the life of two teenage girls, injured several more, and was later stopped by a security officer,” Small said. "Those are some tough moments. They are defining moments especially when you are 19 years old. They kind of imprint some things inside of you." 

Small became a pastor with a passion for safety and preparedness. He was then approached by an ex-Navy Seal who was working on an idea for a new company. 

"So, he starts talking about this company taking civilians and training them up for worst case situations. I don't even think he finished talking when I said, 'Hey man, whatever it takes i'll be there.’" 

He volunteered his time, as the company evolved. They offered everything from in-home defense, to firearm education, to active shooter training. 

After moving to Texas, Small tried to incorporate his first-hand experience into his new job at Trinity, saying they have a security team that ranges from off-duty officers on the premises to simply church members with special training. He said he thinks training can make all the difference. 

"Most people walk in, and they are having a bad day and they just want someone to talk to, so we hope we can give that to anyone and everyone. But on the flip side, there are bad people out there who want to do bad things to good people, and so we are prepared for that day. That is vital in the world we live in,” Small said. 

He said at their church they give people the benefit of the doubt, unless the see something wrong. They try to utilize “aggressive friendliness,” and Small said the best way to diffuse situations can be kindness, paired with situational awareness. 

“Because it might save a life. You having just a little bit of training might be the difference in someone going home or not going home."

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