Austin churches honor Charleston shooting victims, some add security

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal, or AME, Church in East Austin took security precautions during services Sunday following the shooting that took nine lives at an A.M.E. church in Charleston last week.

Security personnel was present throughout the service in and outside the building.

“Never in my lifetime would I have ever, ever conceived that the day would come where we need security in the house of God,” said Senior Pastor, Reverend N. Jordan Mkwanazi. “We are living in a time now where we cannot take chances anymore. We want to make sure that our people who come to church feel safe.”

At Holy Cross Catholic Church in east Austin, special prayers were said for the families in Charleston.

In Fr. Basil Aguzie’s homily, he said, “Our prayer in this mass is that God should touch the hearts of all people; to see that we are all children of the same father.”

Parishioner Johnnie Dorsey is the Director of the Office of Black Catholics in the Diocese of Austin. He wants to see action beyond the church walls.

“We hope, as a result of the prayers we have today, that people will go out and start doing more than what’s being done right now, to be sure we don’t have this happen again,” said Dorsey.

Holy Cross did not have additional security measures Sunday.

The A.M.E. Church in Austin will be hosting a town hall style meeting Tuesday to discuss such topics as safety, healing, and how to help race relationships.

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