By Bob Allen
Nearly 150 children were evacuated Jan. 4 from a day-care center at a Baptist church in Winston-Salem, N.C., while police investigated a suspicious package later determined to pose no threat.
According to local media, authorities evacuated First Baptist Church on Fifth in Winston-Salem after police received a report around 2:20 p.m. on Monday about a suspicious package at the church. Children from the day-care center were taken to the nearby Winston-Salem Center for Education and the Arts.
Police taped off neighboring streets and a portion of the church parking lot. Bomb squad officers used a robotic device to examine the package, and after about two hours declared it safe to return to the church. Five police officers and district attorneys met Monday night with parents.
“I know many of us have important and necessary concerns about how community officials treat and respond to citizens’ safety, but I give thanks today in light of yesterday’s incident,” Pastor Emily Hull McGee commented on Facebook.
“They were comforting, responsive and most helpful in this time of crisis,” Hull said of the police response. “I remain prayerful for and committed to doing my part to ensure that all citizens have that level of access and care for their safety.”