The fund was set up in the aftermath of the July 27 incident, when Jim David Adkisson, 58, entered the sanctuary during a Sunday morning children’s performance of “Annie Jr.,” firing three shots from a semiautomatic shotgun, killing two and wounding six, before he was subdued by congregants and taken into police custody. There were about 200 people in the audience that morning.
Killed were Greg McKendry, 60, a board member and usher at TVUUC and Linda Kraeger, 61, a member of the Westside Unitarian Universalist Church, also in Knoxville. Several of those wounded were also Westside members.
The fund was set up by the UUA and the UUA’s Thomas Jefferson District to “bring ministry, spiritual care, and practical financial assistance” to the victims and their families, as well as to others affected by the event. Fund dispersals will be overseen by a committee consisting of representatives from the district and the two congregations. The Thomas Jefferson District serves UU congregations in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
The children’s performance of “Annie Jr.” was the culmination of a two-week summer theater program. In addition to children from both Knoxville congregations, children from the community also participated. Many in the audience that day were not members of the church but had come to see the performance.
On Friday, August 8, UUA President William G. Sinkford announced that a separate fundraising effort was sponsoring a full-page advertisement in the Sunday New York Times.
“The terrible crime and the inspiring responses have put Unitarian Universalism under an intense media spotlight,” Sinkford said, “and we now find ourselves called to publicly define who we are and what we stand for. Now is the time to let the world know that we will continue to stand on the side of love—even, and especially, during these challenging circumstances.”
The full-page ad will appear in the newspaper’s News section, he said.
- Two Unitarian Universalists killed in church shooting
- Knoxville stands with grieving UUs after shootings
- 'I've never been so proud to be a Knoxvillean'
- Knoxville church adapts to aftermath of shooting
- Knoxville Relief Fund. Joint fund sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the UUA’s Thomas Jefferson District. (UUA.org)
- Unitarian Universalists Respond to Tragedy in Knoxville. Articles and resources about the Knoxville shooting from the Unitarian Universalist Association. (UUA.org)
- Tennessee Valley Unitarian Univeralist Church. Knoxville church where the July 27 shooting took place. (tvuuc.org)
- Westside Unitarian Universalist Church. One member of the Knoxville church was killed and several others were wounded in the TVUUC shooting. (westknoxuu.org)
- Knoxville Church Shooting. Comprehensive news coverage by the Knoxville News Sentinel. (knoxnews.com)