NORTHAMPTON CO., N.C.- Here at Lasker Baptist Church, Pastor Ricky Barnes said he knows what it's like to have a congregation in a rural area.
When he heard the horrific deadly attack at a church in Texas just a few days ago, he felt the massive pain of grief.
"There have actually been incidents in this county where individuals have come into churches. Although I don't think individuals have been hurt, people were frightened," said Barnes.
The Northampton Co. Sheriff's Office says it will be providing safety forums for local churches so they can be prepared and vigilant if violent events were to ever take place.
"It makes me wonder and it makes my department wonder on whether or not we can do something to assist and maybe reduce the chances of someone being killed or seriously injured. We can't stop it all, but we may be able to do something so our citizens can protect themselves," said Sheriff Jack Smith of the Northampton Co. Sheriff's Office.
Pastor Barnes said the deadly church massacre in Texas has opened many people's eyes to the fact that no one, regardless of where you live, is immune to violent acts.
"It's very painful, and it hits families hard. I think sometimes people in the country think it can never happen to us because there's not that many people, but that's where the soft targets usually are," said Pastor Barnes.
The Northampton Co. Sheriff's Office has not yet set up times for the safety forums. It has, however, already been in contact with many churches in the area.