When Eric Stitts, pastor of Bayside Baptist Church, heard of the domestic terrorism attack on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., July 16, his first thought was disbelief.
Then he turned his attention and prayers to the many policemen in his church, located in nearby Harrison, who he knew would be called to the scene.
One of those officers (name has been asked to be withheld) was one of three people wounded during the incident which took the lives of four United States Marines. The shooter, Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kuwait, was also killed.
“[He] is very faithful,” Stitts said. “He loves his family and he takes his responsibility as a police officer very seriously.”
Stitts noted the officer is a “man of integrity” and a member who is well respected in the church and community.
The Bayside pastor has been in contact with the officer’s wife. “She told me the recovery process will be long but he is expected to make a full recovery,” Stitts said.
Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher told television station WRCB the officer is “doing as well as can be expected after being shot by a brazen criminal like this.”
The pastor said Bayside Baptist was open all day Friday (July 17) for people to come and pray. In addition, Stitts said the church service on July 19 would be devoted to prayer as well.
“We will be praying for [the officer] and his family and the families of the four Marines who were killed as well as the two others who were wounded and all those involved,” he said. “We also are going to enter into a time of seeking the Lord and praying as a church family that the community will come together and seek the face of God,” he said.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Lonnie Wilkey/Baptist and Reflector