One Florida church is letting the people know that while the pastors and congregation may be saved, y’all can still catch these hands.
While everyone is still welcome at the River at Tampa Bay Church, the senior pastor, Rodney Howard-Browne, posted the new signs that will be gracing the front doors of the church, MSN reports.
“PLEASE KNOW THIS IS NOT A GUN FREE ZONE - WE ARE HEAVILY ARMED — ANY ATTEMPT WILL BE DEALT WITH DEADLY FORCE — YES WE ARE A CHURCH AND WE WILL PROTECT OUR PEOPLE,” the posters read.
According to the report, the invitation to knuck if you buck has been around the church for about a year but recently caught national attention after Howard-Browne’s post was covered by news outlets in the aftermath of the horrific massacre at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas.
The associate pastor, Allen Hawes, told the Tampa Bay Times that several of the church’s 1,200-1,300 members are armed and ready, with Hawes holding a concealed-weapons license himself.
“It is a deterrent,” Hawes told the news site. “Look at what is going on. In the past two months, look at what happened in Texas. Look at what happened in Las Vegas. Because we are a church that is on television, we are very involved in the community. We want people to know that this is a safe zone.
“If you walk through the door with the intention to harm, that sign serves as a deterrent to you,” he added. “We are not a soft target. People here will defend their families.”