EPD Leader: No Threat to Ellisville Church | Free News

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Social media caused a stir when a man was invited to one church and showed up at another on Sunday. Ellisville Police Chief Bruce Russell has been inundated with calls from churches across the state about the incident.

Rumors on social media said a man had guns and a bulletproof vest when he entered the Assembly Church of God on Highway 11 in Ellisville, but none of this information is believable. Russell said the man had a vape pen and no indication of wearing a body armor after reviewing church security footage.

Russell said Homeland Security contacted him on Thursday and said the visitor was “a good Christian.” Caitlin Rice Hux wrote in a post that her father invited the man to Centerville Baptist Church, but he was not from the area and went to another church.

Church security took care of the matter and deemed that he did not pose a threat to the congregation. He was never asked to leave and was invited into the church after security spoke to him. In a post circulating on social media, a cross is a “a sure sign of an attack is that they will lay a cross inside the church right before. They turned around and looked on the table and it placed a cross on the table.

But the man had brought the cross as a gift for the church. Hux’s family asked about the cross and the man said “in his culture it was customary to bring a cross to a church and leave it,” according to Hux’s post.

Russell said the man was traveling and visiting several churches in the area.

“There was never a weapon brandished or found on the man,” Russell said. “There should be an app developed so churches can communicate with each other to get the right information when something like this happens.”

No criminal activity took place at the church that day. While the incident was not a threat to the community, Russell said it was good for churches to stay alert to suspicious activity.

“Nowadays with what’s happening across the country, churches need to watch for suspicious activity,” Russell said.

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