The following is an anonymous open letter from a former Grace Baptist Church youth group member. The incident detailed in this letter happened in the early 2010s.
Ok so back in 7th or 8th grade, i was out with the youth group on a Wednesday afternoon knocking on doors. I'm sure you've seen or been on these, or at least heard of them. We'd knock on doors for 2 hours, then get food, then back to church for service.
This particular day, we went to culvers. We all ate and were notified that it was time to go. I was one of the first ones to get to the bus and i got on and sat in the driver seat (i was waiting for the driver, as i was previously talking to him about hunting or fishing..?). While I was waiting on the driver seat, a certain teenager (a year or two older than myself) grabbed a knife from his pocket and tried to stab me in the chest. I grabbed his hands and held him off until he stopped trying and then he just went and sat down. I was scared and didn't want to be drawing negative attention so i just went and sat down (the Baptist way, forget and forgive no matter what).
A couple of my friends saw this and later told adults that if i hadn't have caught his hands as he lunged his knife at me, and been strong enough to hold him off, I'd probably be dead. Parents after church i told my parents and they weren't happy at all (obviously). They went to pastor and said that they wanted to call the police. Pastor Jenkins asked if we could discuss it first (this is all right after church, the same day). We sat down and talked with several leaders of the church (pastor, youth pastor, principal, etc) and they asked if they could create a "punishment plan" and i agreed to it, then we could avoid calling the police. My parents told me it was up to me. (My parents did recently tell me they have felt it wasn't quite right letting this go without calling police, but at the time they thought it was an okay thing to do as pastor advisory was to let church handle it).
After a few meetings they had written a plan and it included no youth activities for 6 months, he wasn't allowed to bring knives to any church or youth activity, annnddd a few bs things he had to do (one i remember was reading certain Bible chapters at home every day). They sat me and my parents, and him and his for a meeting. They read this plan to us all and he apologized. They then asked me if i was ok with this and i said yes. (Yes i said yes, but a 7 or 8 grade kid, easily intimidated by this kid sitting across from me, who had the entire youth group which liked him better than they liked me. And as the church is, who's who is everything).