Indiana Pastor Shot in Church


Sheepdog-Iconography---Sheepdogs-in-ActionIndianapolis, IN – On Saturday, May 19th, Rev. Jaman Iseminger was shot as he opened up the church for volunteers, and later died at the hospital.

Rev. Iseminger was opening the church up for some local volunteers who were cleaning up a nearby cemetery.

A woman approached one of the volunteers and asked for the pastor by name. The volunteer told the woman that the pastor was in his office, and she walked away in that direction. Moments later, the volunteer heard a single gunshot, and the woman was seen fleeing the church. Rev. Iseminger was able to crawl up a flight of stars and outside to summon help before collapsing. The pastor later died at the hospital.

The woman was tracked by canine and arrested with a small .22 caliber handgun on her. She has reportedly admitted shooting the pastor, although she has (as of this writing) not given any reason. While the woman’s son did attend the church as a youth, she reportedly never attended.

The pastor is survived by his wife and a young daughter, and my heart and prayers go out to them, and the congregation that was devastated by this senseless tragedy.

As a lesson to take away from this, I don’t want to talk about the obvious subject of guns in the church. Instead, I want to talk about tragedy and response. I don’t want to second guess the pastor, the volunteer, or anyone else, after all, it is the church’s biblical duty to welcome the hurting. We are commanded to help the hurting, and Jesus hung around more with “sinners” than with the religious leaders of the time.

It is my hope, that this woman receives the punishment from the legal system that is due her. It is also my prayer that this congregation does not harden their hearts against those who need help. People have a natural tendency to want to withdraw in an attempt to avoid getting hurt again. I pray that these folks don’t harden.

This is why I advocate finding a select group of people in the church that can act as a sheepdog acts – as a protector of the innocent lambs. It is not the lambs’ fault for being sheep. Innocence IS still a good thing. Those who have the heart and training to be sheepdogs are specifically there to help shield the sheep from just this kind of violence and heartache.

As I have told the staff at my church – I live in that dark world specifically so that they don’t have to. I pray daily that neither the staff of my church, nor those who attend, will ever have to experience the darkness because they are innocent sheep, and innocence is to be celebrated and cherished. I hope and pray that the good people of Bethel Community Church in Southport, In. are able to remain as sheep. I also pray that if God has placed sheepdogs in that congregation, that they are willing and able to step forward to help protect the lambs.

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