MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Texans have been allowed to conceal carry guns in churches for years. After Sunday's shooting, local pastors explained their policies on guns.
"It was heartbreaking to know that there was a group of people who were gathered together to worship on a Sunday and were met with such resistance," said Kenny Comstock, Executive Pastor at Crossroads Fellowship.
The Sutherland Springs church shooting has affected everyone in the religious community. With no restrictions on concealed carry parishioners, pastors in Midland and Odessa have hired outside security to help protect their churches and worshipers.
"We do have a team of people that are trained that serves as guardians or protectors of our campus on a Sunday morning," said Comstock.
On a Sunday, or any day when there's a large crowd.
"We have some off-duty officers who serve with us. They are uniformed and armed. I'm not crazy about that but it's a reality we have to face," said Dr. Darin Wood, Pastor at First Baptist Church.
Both Comstock and Wood believe the church nowadays is seen in a different light.
"There's not the respect for the church building or the campus that there once was," said Wood.
"The view of sanctity in a church has decreased where people don't take as seriously the holy nature of what we do," said Comstock.
Even with recent shootings in churches.
"In John 10:10, Jesus told us the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. We saw that yesterday. That's exactly what happened," said Wood.
They understand what they have to continue doing to keep their own safe.