Kentucky Governor Declares Day of Prayer in Aftermath of Deadly School Shooting

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Churches in Kentucky took time on Sunday to pray for those affected by Tuesday’s school shooting in Benton, which took the lives of two students and injured more than a dozen others, after Gov. Matt Bevin declared the day to be a statewide day of prayer.

“We have seen evil and the face of evil as it has emerged, and the acts it has perpetrated on this community,” he said on Friday. “But I’ll tell you what’s stronger than evil: it’s good, and in the end, God wins. That’s a fact.”

Last Tuesday, 15-year-old sophomore Gabe Parker walked into Marshall County High School with a handgun and began firing, causing students to pour out of the building as they ran for their lives.

“You could see students dropping their bags and just start running, pushing past each other,” student Taylor Droke told WZTV. “Everyone in cars started turning around and driving away. Kids were jumping the fence around the school and running through the woods.”

By the time Parker was apprehended, 20 students were struck by gunfire, with one dying on the scene and another passing away at the hospital.

Gov. Bevin expressed deep sorrow over the tragedy, taking to both social media and a community event to address what he called the “cultural problem” of violence in America—more specifically, how forms of entertainment desensitize the viewer to bloodshed and murder.

“Look at our popular culture. Look at our movies. The violence [and] the disregard for the value of human life,” he said in an online video. “We have a culture of death of death in America. We can pretend we don’t. We can think that people can separate fact from fiction—from their lives from that which they see—but if they are immersed in it at every turn, in television, in movies, in music…”

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Bevin urged parents to be attentive to what their children are watching, and encouraged youth to be careful about what they put in their eyes and ears. He also admonished film producers to realize the effect of the content of their movies on viewers.

“I know that we’re living in a day and age where [producers think] we need to shock people more than the last time or they won’t pay attention … The shock value maybe gets people to pay attention to something, puts eyes on something, and you can make a buck, but at what price?” Bevin asked. “It’s robbing us of the very fabric of our nation and it’s killing our young people.”

View the video in full below.

On Friday, Bevin signed a proclamation urging Kentucky residents to dedicate Sunday as a day of prayer for those affected by Tuesday’s shooting.

“I want to encourage this community to do what it’s doing, which is pray,” he stated at the Children’s Art Activities Center, according to the Courier Journal. “And I also want to encourage every single faith-based organization, church, house of worship, everyone this Sunday to pray for Marshall County.”

Among the churches that organized a special time of prayer or included prayer in their regular Sunday service was Greater Norris Chapel Baptist Church in Henderson, which held a dedicated prayer gathering this afternoon. Crossroads Church in Lexington also took time to discuss the matter this morning during its worship service. Impact Church, just 10 miles from the school, held a vigil this week as well.

Mark Stecher, pastor of Crossroads Church, told WKYT-TV that his church has been talking about being a good neighbor as no one can go it alone.

“It’s almost impossible to process the loss and pain without other people,” he stated. “If we are by ourselves, that isolation ends up freezing us and paralyzing us. So it’s the most healthy thing you can do to reach out and be great neighbors to each other.”


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  • Robin Egg

    Thank you Governor Bevin. And I am asking prayer warriors that visit this site to please pray for the children that were present during the shootings. A sister in Christ has a grandson that was present and is severely traumatized. I do not live in the area but from what I am told by those who do, the victims are struggling to deal with this. Heavenly Father, We come to you and ask for the healing power of your Holy Spirit to envelop all who were involved and effected by this terrible tragedy with your protection, comfort and healing of mind, body, soul and spirit. Bind the wounds of the broken hearted. Bring Your peace that passes all understanding. We ask this in Jesus Name. Amen.

    • ♥LadyInChrist♥InGodITrust♥

      In Jesus Name I am in agreement. Amen.

    • DrIndica

      Prayer warriors? Wow, how bellicose of you.

    • Shosh 7154

      and in Jesus’ Name please use this painful event to set the captives free from lies by the most beautiful relationship anyone can ever have throughout all eternity…knowing Jesus in all His beautiful character, the intense and ever- pursuing love He has for every single person is sweeter than all life, may His love become everyone’s joy in their innermost being. amein and thank You L-rd.

  • wit brown

    I wonder how many times are we going to say ” our prayers are with the families” of gun violence?
    after a while our prayers means nothing. It becomes empty rhetoric.
    But meanwhile, NO guns will be allow when President Trump gives his State of the Union address.
    I wonder why? so we won’t be get a chance to say to those people in the Hall, that our prayers are with them, over gun violence. How smart…

    • Shosh 7154

      Even Jesus told His followers to sell their robe and buy a sword for the days are evil……Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

      • wit brown

        Jesus also told Peter to put away his sword for if you live by the sword you will die by the sword…
        What I’m saying is there will be no sword in the house chamber so no one will die tonight as a result of gun violence during the speech.
        But some where in America a child will die today because of gun violence. Now that’s not fair…

        • Shosh 7154

          if you live by the sword…make a living by the use of the sword, use the sword to make a living….Yeshua is not talking about self defense here otherwise He would be contradicting His own words…sell your garment and buy a sword…Yeshua is G-d. So the error lies in our understanding. If I had small children and no way to defend them during a home invasion, I would be responsible for my children suffering injury or death. That will not happen.

          • wit brown

            “So the error lies in our understanding.” Yes it is usually our understanding and our exegesis or eisegesis that is the problem. You can take scripture out of context to justify one’s belief. It is obvious you are doing so, to justify your love of guns.
            But, would you consider that this utterance was prophetic, Jesus foretelling what will happen with the swords that they had?
            Luke 22:37-39 speaks of the prophetic. quote,“For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me,… for the things concerning me have an end. 38: And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.” But enough for what? enough swords to kill soldiers and defend Jesus from the hands of Pilate? NO! but enough to fulfill the prophecy that which was spoken.
            We saw that Peter’s sword had NO use to stop the Plan of Salvation.

            Luke does not say what Peter did, but we saw ( in the other Gospels) that Peter cut off the ear of a soldier, Jesus sticks the ear back on and told Peter to put up the sword for it is NOT needed for defense, Jesus MUST fulfill the death of the Cross.
            Each of the Gospel gives a different account but each is used to accurately give the full picture of what took place.

            We are admonished to ” study ” the word to rightly divide the Word of Truth.
            The weapons of our warfare are NOT Guns and metal swords. But with the SWORD of the Word, which can cut away sin and separate Joint from Marrow.

            Context is important… Love of guns is idolatrous. Using the Bible to justify that love is Blasphemous.

          • Shosh 7154

            As you can see, all around us is a sin-sick world, becoming more and more dark and dangerous, even as it is in Israel. If you stop an intruder in your home who is willing to injure or kill you to take what is yours, you have protected not only yourself and your own children, but you have protected the next victim. You have a duty to protect your children and even a duty to stop someone who may kill in a future event. And one more thing. Many times the news of home intruders stopped by a bullet travels like lightening…person to person among those who know that intruder and many many others practicing his life style. Would you break into a dark house if you knew the owner was holding a gun on the other side of the door? Time to start thinking through this knee-jerk reaction to self-protection because everyone around you will benefit, even your own children who will feel protected by a parent who is willing to stop the next crime before it happens.

  • james blue

    Another one??

    • DrIndica

      Notice recent mass shootings have not been perpetrated by Muslims, or immigrants?

      • Elca

        That kind of mass shootings is acceptable by Trump , no outraged or plan to deport them from America.

      • Shosh 7154

        check out Europe lately they have mass rapes, mass stabbings, mass vehicular attacks….guns might be stopping some of the above in the U.S.

        • james blue

          It’s funny how the people of Europe are wondering where all these “no go zones” in their own countries are.

          • Shosh 7154

            knowledge is power….few key strokes and you have it

          • james blue

            I’m a born and bred Texan so accustomed to the smell of BS, but I can smell some there.

          • Shosh 7154

            I work with DHS so I really do see hundreds of people almost every day.

          • DrIndica

            You work for the department of Vaterland? Explains a lot.

          • DrIndica

            The plural of anecdote is not data.

        • DrIndica

          More guns…that’s just what we need. I think your tin-foil beanie may be a bit too tight.

          • Shosh 7154

            We just need the right to be armed to defend ourselves. People with wrong intentions tend to know who is armed and who is not.

          • DrIndica

            So, Jesus won’t protect you unless you have a firearm? I thought Christians believe God is in control… guess not for you.

          • Shosh 7154

            If you don’t look left and right before you cross a street you will get run over eventually. Steering a parked car is impossible. Both require action. G-d never told us to sit down after receiving Him as L-rd but to COME AND FOLLOW ME. I am following Him because His name is the Word of G-d (Rev 19:13)

          • DrIndica

            Your first sentence supports my point. Nothing is in control, it is all chaos, but I assumed, unlike me, you identified as Christian your snark meter must be broken. No diety has ever “told” me anything. Everything is chaos, and it is my moral duty to be kind.

          • Shosh 7154

            The L-rd speaks loudly and clearly to the whole world through His Word in the Bible which is still today the best selling book in the entire world.

          • wit brown

            “We just need the right to be armed to defend ourselves.” Then would you support banning guns from off our streets and just keep them in your house for protection? would you?
            Or is this just a smoke screen…because your love of guns is more than just protection for your family?

          • Shosh 7154

            In Israel guns save lives almost every day and in the case where the victim has no gun, severe injury or death is usually the result. The days are evil and growing darker by the minute. Now is the time to call on the name of Yeshua Jesus Who is Himself the ultimate Protection. He will show you what you should do when the time comes if you learn to trust Him and know His mind by studying His words so that you can receive from Him the Spirit of Life and not be ruled by the spirit of fear.

          • wit brown

            In Afghanistan guns are used to kill the enemy… but this article is about guns being used to kill students in schools.
            I did ask if you would support banning guns off the streets and keep them in your house to protect you and your family, you responded by telling me about Israel.
            This is not a genuine response…

          • Shosh 7154

            Self protection wherever it is needed…even as it is in Israel