U.S. News


Nashville pastor describes how his community is healing from tragedy

BJ Brack is the senior pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church. His church is roughly a mile and a half from the school where 6 people were killed.
Posted at 7:00 PM, Mar 31, 2023

Green Hills is the Nashville neighborhood where The Covenant Schoolis located. It's a quiet part of the city with a feeling very different from the hustle and bustle of downtown. 

"The Green Hills community, we have seven churches in the heart of Green Hills. They're all fairly large. Faith is a central part of who we feel like we are in this community. And I mean we're on the buckle of the Bible Belt here in Nashville and for this to happen right here. Well, I'm telling you it could happen anywhere," says BJ Brack. 

Brack is the senior pastor at Calvary United Methodist Church. Brack's church is roughly a mile and a half from the school where six people were killed, including three nine-year-old students. 

"I think we're still a little shocked. We're kind of numb. I don't know, today, almost I have some sense of anger. That this continues to keep happening over and over again in our country," Brack says. 

Brack says some members of his congregation are close with those who have children who attend The Covenant School. 

"Some of our parishioners here, have family members that go to Covenant, we have close connections, our families were texting me last night, saying I have to tell our sons today that their friend's sister is not coming home, how do we do that?"

A police officer walks in front of The Covenant School

'I hear another shot:' 911 recordings from Nashville shooting released

The Metro Nashville Police Department released recordings from three 911 calls, where people can be heard asking for help.


As a faith leader, Brack admits it can be hard to hold onto hope in times as difficult as in the wake of a school shooting that happened so close. 

"It's you just pointing them to the hope that we have in God. Our faith points us to a point that, that's not the end but it's hard when it's someone so young and who had their whole life infant of them and it's taken away too fast," Brack says. "You feel like just giving up because it doesn't feel like anything is going to change and it doesn't get any better but that's where our faith comes in and there is ultimate hope in God."

Brack says his congregation is made up of people with different perspectives and political beliefs, but sees his church as a place where conversations can happen that need to happen nationwide. 

"I think there are multiple layers to this conversation that have to happen and we seem to be unwilling to have the conversations in this country. Yeah, there is a mental health issue that we need to address there's people who just feel lost and are alone and need a community," He says, "There is a gun issue in this country and we're going to have to address problems with gun reform and these things don't happen in other countries so there are things we need to learn from to be better. Our children deserve better."