VI – Self-Defense

Majority of Protestant Churches Plan for Security

Around 4 in 5 Protestant pastors (80%) say their church has some type of security measure in place when they gather for worship, according to a survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Pastors Network: Churches Have Biblical Duty to Protect ]

Almost 2 in 3 pastors (62%) say their church has an intentional plan for an active killer situation. The more people who show up to worship services each week, the more likely the church is to have made plans for a potential murderer. Pastors of churches with 250 or more in attendance (77%) and those with 100 to 249 (74%) are more likely to have an intentional plan than those with 50 to 99 in attendance (58%) or those with less than 50 in their worship service each week (45%).

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Church Shooting Analysis Reports ]

Close to half of pastors (45%) say part of their security measures include having armed church members. Combining this with the percentages who say they have uniformed police officers or armed security personnel on site, 51% intentionally have firearms at their worship services as part of their security measures.

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President Signs Bill Authorizing $375 Million in Grants for Houses of Worship to Defend Against Violence

The Securing American Nonprofit Organizations Against Terrorism Act of 2019, signed into law January 24, 2020, formally authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) for four years to protect the safety of non-profits facilities at risk of terrorist attacks, including synagogues, mosques, churches, and other houses of worship.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Pastors Network: Churches Have Biblical Duty to Protect ]

The new law, which passed the US House by voice vote and passed through the Senate via Unanimous Consent, authorizes the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Nonprofit Security Grant Program’ to issue grant money for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations that are at risk of a terrorist attack.

This grant funding will assist houses of worship to apply for $100,000 grants to be used for things like fencing, cameras, stronger doors, the hiring of security professionals, and security training for key personnel to prevent or protect against attacks.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Church Shooting Analysis Reports ]


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Pastors Network: Churches Have Biblical Duty to Protect

The American Pastors Network (APN) says churches have a biblical and moral responsibility to protect their congregations from attacks.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Church Shooting Analysis Reports ]

APN offers 10 biblical recommendations for churches to consider when devising policies concerning church security:

1. Understand the biblical and moral responsibility of safety. It is the duty of pastors and church leadership to do all they can to protect the lives of those in the congregation.

2. Develop and train a security team. Dedicate certain individuals, whether staff or volunteers, to undertake the important issue of security. Train these personnel how to identify potential threats and how to de-escalate potential threat situations. During services or functions, outfit the team in plain clothes.

3. Perform a risk assessment. Where is the church vulnerable in its facility and grounds? Consider a community threat assessment as well.

Read this article in full…


Invite SemperVerus to present its 5 life-changing success-generating components—prepare, aware, be, know, do—to your organization to inspire and motivate your members.

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Church Shooting Analysis Reports

A killer murdered two people during the morning service at West Freeway Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas December 29, 2019. He was about to kill a third person and probably more congregants when he was fatally shot in a skilled self-defense maneuver by a volunteer member of the church security team who undoubtedly saved many lives. The murderer’s six-second terror spree and the armed civilian’s rescue were video recorded. Here is a collection of links to resources examining the event to arrive at lessons learned for future self-defense and church security planning: