Local church hosts active shooter training to prepare for worst case scenario

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Imagining an active shooter inside the walls of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church on the east side is an uncomfortable thought. But it’s one that church members had to take on for a training on Sunday afternoon.

Chapel Hill UMC joined the dozens of other churches across the country who have delved into worst case scenario training in light of the recent shooting inside a Sutherland Springs, TX church, when a gunman killed 26 people during worship on November 5.

KSN asked Great Plains United Methodists disaster recovery coordinator, Hollie Tapley, if she ever imagined she would be doing active shooter training in a church.

“Never, never ever never have I ever dreamed this,” Tapley said.

Tapley spoke to congregation members on Sunday, teaching them the “Run/Hide/Fight” method. She wanted members to know how to respond in a confident, positive manner if the situation arose.

“If we know how to respond positively, then more lives are going to be saved,” Tapley said, “I wish I could guarantee it, I wish I could say no lives are gonna be lost, and nobody is gonna be wounded but I can’t say that.”

Members had time to ask Tapley questions. Several members discussed the legality of an active shooter in a church, while others addressed the notable age gap churches have, including a church nursery leader. Tapley acknowledged the challenges churches face in each of those topics, including how churches are to invite people in, not be fearful of what someone could bring in.

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