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Two men disrupting houses of worship in Upstate of SC

There are reports of two men who are being disruptive at houses of worship in the Upstate of SC today.

Church violence has been on the increase since 1980.  If you google church violence you may be surprised at the number of incidents where people have gone into a house of worship and used violence to take the lives of innocent people.

Today churches are ramping up their efforts to safeguard against this sort of violence.  They are doing this by increasing awareness amongst the church leadership.  They are putting together volunteer church security teams that provide basic security services during and after each service.  Large mega churches actually have security team members on staff as well as volunteers that help out on Sundays during the services and during special events.

Some churches have full blown dignitary protection teams that are tasked with protecting the pastor and his family.  They provide on site protection as well as mobile coverage when the pastor goes to events off campus.

Some people would probably be horrified at the thought that someone would even think of causing bodily harm to their congregation.  Providing a welcoming and open environment for church goers and keeping them as safe as possible can be difficult.  Our approach where I attend is that everyone that can conceal a weapon do.  We do not wear anything that openly identifies us as a security volunteer.  If you look close and pay attention you will notice that the security volunteers do wear ear pieces that connect to our two way radios.  We use those to communicate with each other and other church ministry teams on Sunday.

Church safety and security is serious business.  We are the first line of defense when it comes to preventing the wolves from coming on our property or entering our sanctuary or childrens ministry to do harm.  We also believe that it is a specialized ministry.  We are considered to be part of the first impressions team.  Part of our goal is to make people feel welcome when they come to church.  We do our best to smile and let them know we are glad they are there.  We welcome them with open arms.  While we are doing that we are paying attention to what is going on around us and that includes where the pastor is located.  We have one of our security volunteers that shadows him constantly and keeps an eye on theose who get close to him.

If you are a church goer what does your church do with regards to safety and security?  I would be interested in hearing.

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