WACO, Texas --- "It took 22 years but finally the most talked about villains in Waco are bikers, not an Adventist offshoot," said church Public Relations Analyst Chip Spinner, echoing the sentiments of a North American Adventist public that has learned to dread any mention of Waco, Texas in the news.
In the aftermath of last Sunday's horrific biker-gang shooting in Waco that left nine people dead, 18 injured and 170 people facing organized crime charges, Adventists are reminded of events in 1993 just outside Waco that rocked the Adventist church's foundations. A compound belonging to the religious group Branch Davidians (a sect that separated from the Adventist Church in 1955) led by charismatic leader David Koresh, was engulfed in fire during a siege by the FBI, resulting in the deaths of 76 cult members.
"Two decades later Waco is in the the headlines again," said Spinner. "And this still doesn't come near to the controversy that a misguided offshoot from our own church caused. It should tell us something that over 20 years later we are still connected to the worst headline in this town."
Spinner stressed that "our hearts go out and our prayers go up" for those who lost loved ones in Sunday's shoot out.
"And we re-dedicate ourselves to better policing our current Koreshs."