LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — When Pastor Dr. Marland Fain woke up Sunday, he knew his sermon that morning at Cedar Top Baptist Church would include an acknowledgment of the mass shooting in Buffalo, that left ten Black people dead.
"I think a number of my congregants looked at that and said, 'That could be any of us,'" Dr. Fain said in an interview with LEX 18 Monday.
Without a script in front of him, Dr. Fain began his sermon to the small, mostly Black congregation in the pews and those watching on Facebook.
"I'm troubled at what I'm seeing," Dr. Fain started.
In denouncing the alleged racially-motivated shooting, Dr. Fain called for systemic change, suggesting that white supremacy embedded in institutions has allowed acts of hate to flourish.
"I'm afraid that the system is working the way it's designed to work," Dr. Fain told his congregants. "And if we don't make a change, this whole ship will go down."
On Monday, sitting in a pew where his congregants sat the day before, Dr. Fain told LEX 18 that progress never comes "without some uncomfortable moments."
"And we're definitely in an uncomfortable moment," Dr. Fain said.
Dr. Fain said he and other Black church leaders have been having conversations for several years about how to best protect their congregations.
"We do have an element here to deal with an active shooter," he said.
Dr. Fain explained that the concerns congregants have had a date back well before a Black church in Charleston, South Carolina was targeted in 2015.
"The atrocities and the terroristic threats against us," Dr. Fain said. "That's nothing new in America."