PO Box 239, Pratt, KS 67124

Frontier Style Church Security (Part 2 of 2)

Last week I shared some fun stories from the book, “Bible in Pocket Gun in Hand.” I hope you enjoy a few more stories out of that book this week.

Theodore Parker was a Unitarian frontier preacher. Just before the Civil War he married escaped slaves, William and Ellen Craft. Knowing what they would surely face in life, he presented William with gifts; a bible and a Bowie knife. He told William, “One’s for the body’s defense, the other is for the soul’s defense.” He warned William to protect Ellen from all crimes. Not today’s Unitarian!

Preparing to preside over a controversial topic, preacher L. M. White learned outlaw band leader Bill Hawkins had proclaimed he would kill anyone who spoke of it. As White entered the meeting, he saw Hawkins wearing a red bandana and a few others around the congregation with the same headgear (so they wouldn’t shoot each other when the shooting started).

White laid his revolvers down on his speaking table, then looked at Hawkins. He said, “Bill I can’t preach much, but I can shoot … you open your mouth or make a move at this meeting I aim to shoot you right between the eyes.” The meeting went smooth.

Fightin’ Jack Potter was encouraged not to speak at church once due to a gang in town threatening the services. He scoffed it off and proclaimed he was going to preach. The congregation, including the gang, were seated when Potter walked up the aisle with his revolver and belt hung on his left arm, carrying his reputable Winchester in his right. Arriving at the pulpit, he hung the revolver on a nearby nail and leaned the Winchester on a chair within easy reach. With no introductory remarks he gave the entire sermon to a very reverent congregation.

The biography of Reverend A. E. Butterfield also tells of a parson who steadfastly delivered sermons with his Winchester in easy reach due to known bandits in the congregation. One night, one of the bandits jumped to his feet and shot at him as he was preaching. He grabbed the Winchester, shot the man in the head, levered in another round and swung on the accomplice who was on his feet and aiming. He disabled him with a shot in the arm.


Think About it

That’s just how it was done back then.

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And you never know, that’s how it might be again.

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