Article by Rev. Dr. David Russell, pastor
Benton First United Methodist Church, Benton, Ky.
The community of Marshall County in Benton, Kentucky continues to heal from the tragic school shooting at Marshall County High School on January 23, 2018. As a part of this healing Benton First United Methodist Church (UMC) reached out to another hurting community, Parkland, Florida which also suffered a school shooting less than a month later. A member at Benton First UMC, Kimberly Anderson, had contact with a parent of a student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School because they were former college roommates. This roommate also attended Heath High School (closed in June 2013 prior to the opening of a new McCracken County High School in August 2013) where another school shooting happened in 1997. Kim asked a fellow faculty member, Crystal Fox, librarian at Benton Elementary School, to paint a canvas depicting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas mascot and the Marshall County Strong logo, bridged with the cross and the flame logo of The United Methodist Church. Our youth and children at Benton First signed the painting to show support and solidarity with the students, faculty, and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.