According to the Rev. Kim Goddard, pastor of Mafair United Methodist Church on East Center Street, the incident occurred about 5 p.m. She said children playing prior to Wednesday services found the firearm.
When asked if the gun was loaded, she said, "I can't say for sure. Someone (in the congregation) said yes. Someone else said no."
According to Kingsport Police Department Capt. Ed Swayze, the gun was a Colt .380 pistol. He said an officer's report of the incident did not state if it was loaded.
He was not aware of any recent police chases where a fleeing suspect may have thrown the pistol into the playground, which is fenced in.
"I'd say it was just somebody out there that probably dropped it out of their pocket, because it's just a little small .380," Swayze said.
The report, according to Swayze, states the pistol was not stolen.
"I guess we'll check the pistol registration to see if we can find the owner, but it's not on the report."