The Salmon Arm Church of Christ held its first church service in its home in Salmon Arm on June 16 following the shooting on April 14. (File photo)

The Salmon Arm Church of Christ held its first church service in its home in Salmon Arm on June 16 following the shooting on April 14. (File photo)

Shuswap church reaches out to fellow church in Texas after shooting

Leader offers support because Salmon Arm church experienced a similar tragedy in April

A Shuswap church has gained knowledge that, although unwanted, might be useful to a fellow church in Texas.

The West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, was the site of a fatal shooting during a church service on Sunday, Dec. 29. Media reports say two men were killed, both churchgoers and one a member of the church’s security team. Another man, the head of security, shot and killed the gunman.

Doug Kendig is a deacon at the Salmon Arm Church of Christ where one man was fatally shot and another wounded during a church service on Sunday, April 14. He explains that although there is no headquarters or overarching organization for Churches of Christ, they are a fellowship and hold the same beliefs.

Read more: Accused in Salmon Arm church shooting waives right to preliminary inquiry

Read more: 2 dead, 1 hurt in shooting at church near Fort Worth, Texas

Kendig has written to the Texas church, telling its leadership about what happened in Salmon Arm and some of the after-effects. There hasn’t been time yet for a response.

“We’ll find out, but I think probably they would find it good to maybe hear from somebody who’s been through the same,” he said.

His letter included information about the move out of the Salmon Arm building following the shooting, and all the help and support the community offered the congregation. He also described how it took a while before members of the congregation could feel comfortable being back in the church building again.

Kendig said he provided his phone number and encouraged the Texas churchgoers to call if they wish.

The man charged in the Salmon Arm church shooting, Matrix Gathergood, is currently at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam where he awaits trial in BC Supreme Court. The case will return to court on Feb. 4 when a date for the trial is expected to be set.



marthawickett@saobserver.net

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