Pistol-Packing Pastor Quits to Work for Gun Rights, Protecting Churches

Is it really that big of a problem?

A pistol-packing pastor who drew national attention earlier this year for hosting a “God-and-Guns” event at his church is stepping down from the pulpit to serve his flock with a new mission.

Pastor Ken Pagano ended his 30-year career last month when he resigned from the New Bethel Church in Louisville, Ky., saying that he wants to focus on church security and Second Amendment rights — a crusade he insists is better fought outside the ministry.

“Thirty years was a good, long run, but it’s time for a change,” Pagano told the Washington Times. “If I can write my own ticket, I want to get involved more in Second Amendment issues as they affect the church, and I can do more from outside the pulpit than from behind it,” Pagano told the paper.

About 200 people attended Pagano’s “Open Carry Celebration” at the New Bethel Church in June. The event commemorated the roles of religion and gun ownership in American history, and included a handgun raffle. Attendees were also provided with firearms-safety information.

While Pagano says the event drew mostly positive responses, it made him realize that he might have another calling — keeping worshippers safe. (read the rest here)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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