Member charged in Pa. church shooting

 
A member of a Philadelphia Southern Baptist church has been charged with voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment in the shooting death of a fellow church member during a worship service April 24. Mark Storms, 46, allegedly shot and killed 27-year-old Robert Braxton during an altercation in the worship center of Keystone Fellowship's campus in North Wales, Pa., shortly after the 11 a.m. service began. Keystone released a statement to Baptist Press April 28 thanking Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele's office "for its ...

Fatal shooting leaves Pa. church 'grieved'

 
Investigators are seeking to determine whether a fatal shooting April 24 during a worship service at a Philadelphia-area Southern Baptist church was "justified under the law," according to media reports. Keystone Fellowship Church, a congregation with four campuses in the Philadelphia area, confirmed on Facebook that "one man was shot and another is being questioned by police" regarding an incident that occurred during the 11 a.m. worship service at its Montgomeryville campus in North Wales, Pa. The victim, 27-year-old Robert Braxton, ...

Potential tragedy prevented at Tennessee church's Easter service

 
A "heavily armed" man was subdued and arrested at the Memphis, Tenn.-area Bellevue Baptist Church on Easter Sunday, the congregation's director of security services told Baptist Press. Texas-based church security expert Jimmy Meeks told BP the incident serves as an example of "heads-up" response to a potential threat. The man—31-year-old Marcus Donald—who was taken into custody remains under mental evaluation, according to media reports. Bellevue Pastor Steve Gaines said in a March 28 statement, "Saturday evening ...

More churches seeing need for volunteer screening

 
Nearly half of the background checks requested by churches through LifeWay's program with backgroundchecks.com reveal some type of criminal offense. Most of those are minor incidents such as speeding tickets, but 21 percent of inquiries discovered misdemeanors or more serious crimes, LifeWay's Jennie Taylor said. Since 2008, when LifeWay began its relationship with backgroundchecks.com, more than 11,300 churches and religious organizations have conducted nearly 230,000 background checks using the program. In the past year, more than 2,100 churches have signed up through the ...