Here’s What Your Church Safety Team Needs to Do Sunday Morning

Here is a list of killings that have happened at USA churches since 2012:

December 29, 2019: A killer murdered two people during the morning service at West Freeway Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas, before he was fatally shot by a volunteer member of the church security team.

November 5, 2017: A killer opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 others. No church security team was in place to stop it.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Majority of Protestant Churches Plan for Security ]

September 24, 2017: A man killed a woman and wounded six other people at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee.

August 9, 2016: A shooting during a party at a Jersey City, New Jersey, church left one teenager dead and two teenage girls wounded.

April 24, 2016: A man killed another man during Sunday services in a suburban Philadelphia church. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

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

February 28, 2016: A man killed his 70-year-old brother inside an office at St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio, as Sunday services were winding down.

June 17, 2015: Nine people were killed during a mid-week Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.

March 31, 2013: A man killed his father during Easter services at the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ in Ashtabula, Ohio. Reshad Riddle then made a rambling statement at the pulpit while yelling about God and Allah, still holding his handgun as panicked worshipers fled the church.

December 2, 2012: An elementary school music teacher shot his ex-wife while she played the organ during a church service at the First United Presbyterian Church in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.

October 24, 2012: A former facilities maintenance employee at World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia, opened fire, killing a church volunteer while he was leading a prayer.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Church Shooting Analysis Reports ]

May 9, 2012: A man was fatally shot while sitting in a car guarding Victory Way Assembly Church of God in Christ in Detroit, Michigan. Two teenage robbers attacked him while a Bible study took place inside.

May 3, 2012: A homeless man killed himself after fatally shooting a priest and a church secretary at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City, Maryland.

To help avoid these types of incidents, Sheepdog Seminars of Hurst, Texas, offers the following information as a checklist for church safety teams to conduct prior and during worship services:

  • arrive at least an hour early
  • confirm team members are wearing tourniquets
  • distribute two-way radios to team members
  • review member assignments
  • visually sweep the church property for unusual observations

Read this article in full…

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