Attacks have churches thinking safety

June 1, 2009 5:53:14 PM PDT
The shooting of a prominent Kansas doctor who performed abortions this past weekend is just the latest in a string of attacks at places of worship. Now, facilities normally thought of as places of peace are thinking about security and safety.

By coincidence, Manna Church in Fayetteville is hosting a security conference this week. The mega-church hosts an average of 4,000 people on Sundays, and officials there say it's smart to be prepared - just in case.

"We think it's just prudent for us to do those things that protect our kids and our congregation as they're coming here meeting corporately with the intent to worship God," offered Jeff Toomer with Manna Church.

Chuck Chadwick is president of the National Organization of Church Security and Safety Management. He teaches church leaders how to keep their members safe.

At demonstrations this week, they're learning how to develop safety procedures and policies and how to train parishioners to use their ears and eyes to identify possible threats.

It's not the kind of thing you'd imagine anyone would ever need in church, but Chadwick says in light of violent acts in churches across the country, this type of training is

"There's a big influx of churches growing - mega-churches growing with thousands and thousands of people. And like we say, it's just a matter of the number of people that come through your doors as to how many problems you're going to have," he offered.

Click here for more on church safety and the National Organization of Church Security and Safety Management.


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