Charleston shooting brings up bad memories for 16th Street Baptist Church Members

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Charleston shooting has opened up old wounds in Birmingham, making residents reminiscent of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.

It’s with a heavy heart that Reverend Arthur Price spoke with WIAT about Wednesday’s shooting that mirrored the bombing at the church 51 years ago. He said they are saddened and horrified by the events in Charleston and the idea that church is once again a focal point of another senseless shooting.

Security is now potentially going to be a reality for churches as a result of Wednesday night’s shooting. Reverend Price said 16th Street Baptist has already had to tighten up their security, even before Wednesday’s shooting.

“We have had to change some of our practices. We have a security guard on duty Wednesday nights. Hopefully, that is a deterrent for someone that wants to come in a do something like that not wanting to come in and so something like that because of security presence, police presence,” said Price.

Reverend Price said having security at a church is in and of itself sad, because it sends a message that the house of god is not a safe haven. However, he said as a church, they have to adhere to the times we live in where these random acts of violence are becoming more and more frequent.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church as one of the most vicious and tragic crimes of that time. In 2015, we are faced with another tragedy that will only continue to unfold in the coming days.

In lieu of the tragedy that Charleston is currently dealing with, Mayor William Bell released the following statement:Our sympathies and deep condolences go out to the victims, the families and the entire community of Charleston. Such a senseless waste of life intensified by it happening in a house of worship. May the peace that passes understanding comfort those who grieve today and may they know that for every act of evil there are good men and women who rise up to say we support you, we care and we stand with you today and everyday.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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