Sunday, July 19

Should the doors of the church be open and armed?

Article from: Daytona Times
Full Story Link:

Church safety initiatives
Keeping the church secure has been a national initiative for decades and initiatives like the Texas-based National Organization for Church Security and Safety Management, Inc. (NOCSSM) trains churches through the country in the areas of security and safety.
President and founder Chuck Chadwick also is the licensed security manager and president of Gatekeepers Security Services. The company’s Gatekeepers Program has put hundreds of armed Gatekeepers in churches across Texas.
“Our mission in our Gatekeepers program is to train these men and women to go toward the sound of the gunfire and stop the violence, and the only way to really do it effectively is through firearms,” said Chadwick.
For a megachurch with a hefty budget, Chadwick’s initiatives are an apt resource. But, according to Brian J. Gallagher, a Maryland-based church safety expert, more than 80 percent of the nation’s churches have less than 100 members. Their budgets cannot afford high-tech training or often the necessary base-level security – an alarm system.
Gallagher adds that churches are what’s known as “soft targets,” meaning they are accessible unlike a university setting, which was Roof’s initial choice but the confessed killer said it proved difficult access.
“Too many churches don’t have alarm systems and many keep their doors unlocked,” stated Gallagher. “I can understand the doors of the church need to be open to the public, but if you have multiple entrances – not every door.’’
Pastors and pistols
Beyond technology, the safety conversation has advanced to the need for church pastors and clergy to also arm themselves with weapons as a form of protection.
“Everybody has a Second Amendment right to be armed with a weapon, but you can’t blanket every church’s security needs across the country,” Gallagher advised. “If you’re holding a gun, it’s for one or two reasons – to take a life or defend someone’s life from being taken. Every pastor is not going to have the necessary training, maturity or law enforcement skill-set to be armed for the varied scenario-based situations,” he added.
Gallagher served as a U.S. Secret Service specialist for 10 years and currently oversees an online resource initiative for churches at
“I can say that every megachurch should have armed-security of some sort,” offered Gallagher.
“Every church in an inner city or high crime area should also have an armed response or personnel, but I cannot endorse that security be the pastor. It’s different in each church, every location.”

Friday, June 19

Update from CNN: Charleston Church Shooting

Update From CNN:

(CNN)[Breaking news update, posted at 10:26 a.m. ET]
Dylann Roof has been charged with nine counts of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime in this week's shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, police tweeted Friday.
Roof is expected to have a bond hearing in a South Carolina court at 2 p.m. ET Friday, according to Charleston police.
[Previous story, posted at 10:07 a.m. ET]
For Dylann Roof's friends, talk of sparking a race war or wanting segregation reinstated was nothing new.
But then again, they didn't think he was serious.
    After all, they had known him for years.
    "He never targeted a specific black person," his roommate Joey Meek told ABC News. "He never did any of that, so it was just pretty much a shock."
    Meek didn't take his claims about Roof to authorities before Thursday morning, the day after nine people were killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, ABC reported.
    Dylann Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina, on Thursday.
    Roof is now in custody, having been caught by police about 245 miles (395 kilometers) away from the carnage in Shelby, North Carolina.
    He confessed to the shootings in interviews with the Charleston police and FBI, two law enforcement officials told Evan Perez and Wesley Bruer of CNN, the first network to report this development. He also told investigators he wanted to start a race war, one of those officials said.

    Friends and family

    John Mullins, who attended White Knoll High School with Roof, told CNN on Thursday that the suspect was "kind of wild" but not violent. 
    "That's why all this is such a shock," Mullins said.
    The classmate recalled Roof occasionally making racist comments, though he appeared to have black friends at the same time.
    "They were just racist slurs in a sense," he said. "He would say it just as a joke. ... I never took it seriously, but now that he shed his other side, so maybe they should have been taken more seriously."
    Roof repeated the ninth grade at the Lexington County high school, said Mary Beth Hill of the Lexington School District, west of Columbia, South Carolina. She said he was "very transient," that he "came and went." 
    In a Washington Post interview, Roof's uncle, Carson Cowles, said his mother "never raised him to be like this."
    Police are investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
    "The whole world is going to be looking at his family who raised this monster," Cowles told the Post. "I'd be the executioner myself if they would allow it."

    Before opening fire

    Roof spent about an hour at the historic African-American church before the massacre, attending the prayer meeting with his eventual victims, Charleston police Chief Greg Mullen said. 
    Witnesses told investigators the gunman stood up and said he was there "to shoot black people," a law enforcement official said.
    He answered one man's plea to stop by shooting him, said Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of the church's slain pastor who has talked to a survivor.
    "'No, you've raped our women, and you are taking over the country," he said, according to Johnson. "... I have to do what I have to do."
    Investigators are looking into whether Roof had links to white supremacist or other hate groups, a law enforcement official said. There's no indication so far that he was known to law enforcement officials who focus on hate groups.
    A former schoolmate of Dylann Roof's described him as "kind of wild" but not violent.
    In an image tweeted by authorities in Berkeley County, South Carolina, Roof is seen wearing a jacket with the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and nearby Rhodesia, a former British colony that a white minority ruled until it became independent in 1980 and changed its name to Zimbabwe.

    Banned from mall

    The months leading up to the shooting were a mix of troubling and odd.
    Police in his hometown of Columbia -- about 120 miles northwest of Charleston -- obtained a warrant for his arrest in early March. He had been picked up on drug charges a few days earlier at Columbiana Centre mall, according to a police report. 
    Workers at two stores told mall security that Roof was acting strangely, asking "out of the ordinary questions," the police report said. 
    Roof initially said he wasn't carrying anything illegal. But he agreed to be searched, and an officer found "a small unlabeled white bottle containing multiple orange ... square strips" in his jacket, the police report said. 
    They turned out to be Suboxone, which is used to treat opiate addiction, according to the police report. Roof said he got the strips from a friend.
    He was arrested on a drug possession charge that day in late February, but it's unclear why the March 1 arrest warrant was issued. 
    On April 26, police were again called to Columbiana Centre because Roof, who had been banned from the mall for a year after his drug arrest, had returned, the police report said. The ban was extended to three years after his second arrest.

    The gun

    Roof turned 21 in April, and a short time later he had a gun.
    On Thursday, investigators did a trace of the handgun used in Wednesday's shooting and determined that it was a .45-caliber handgun Roof purchased from a Charleston gun store in April, two law enforcement officials told CNN's Perez and Bruer.
    His grandfather says Roof was given "birthday money" and that the family didn't know what he did with it

    Still Here!

    I have received several emails in light of the recent tragedy in South Carolina asking about the status of I wanted to let you all know that although I have not been unable to update this website much over the last year that I am still here and often receive and respond to emails from readers.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones!

    Thursday, May 15

    Russell Moore - Southern Baptist Convention - Sex Abuse and the Church

    From: Associated Baptist Press


    Russell Moore, head of the SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said at a recent conference on sexuality that church leaders who suspect abuse have an obligation both to contact legal authorities and to address it internally through church discipline.
    “If someone comes and says ‘I have been abused sexually’ or ‘I know someone who’s been abused sexually,’ you have to first of all recognize that there are two authorities at work here, and both of them need to be involved,” Moore said.
    “Caesar has a responsibility to deal with this at the civil level. The church has a responsibility to deal with this at the ecclesial level. You immediately call the police. Even if you don’t know whether this is true or not, you don’t know whether or not this has actually happened, you call the police and you say, ‘Caesar has a responsibility, the government has a responsibility, to investigate this.’

    Nathaniel Morales trial: Victim Jeremy Cook testifies

    From: WJLA News


    ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - A 12-member jury holds the fate of a former spiritual leader, accused of repeatedly molesting three teenage boys, in its hands.
    On Monday, testimony began in the child sex abuse trial of Nathaniel Morales, 56. The self-professed man of God was most recently preaching in Las Vegas. However back in the late 1980s and early 90s, Morales was a well-respected member of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg. Then in his mid-20s, Morales led youth bible studies, directed worship teams, and even attended sleepovers with the male teens he mentored. It's alleged, Morales' abuse went undetected for years because he exhumed trustworthiness and charm.
    "He was charismatic, affable, the life of the party," the father of Victim #1 testified. "Just one of those guys who walked in the room and people were surrounding him."
    Morales joined Covenant Life Church in the mid-1980s. Although his spiritual life was growing, his professional worth was taking a downward spiral. Morales was soon out-of-work, and terribly low on cash. A fellow parishioner offered-up a room in his home along Sunflower Drive in Rockville. In Oct. 1989, Morales accepted the offer, settling into the basement recreation room. The family's 15-year-old son also slept in the basement, in an adjacent bedroom.
    "I recall a number of times, while I was sleeping in the basement, when I woke-up to him kneeling by my side touching me," Victim #1, now 39-years-old, told the court. "I would tell him, 'What's going on? Why are you doing this?'"
    Victim #1 claimed Morales would creep into his bedroom in the middle-of-the-night, groping and performing oral sex on the then teenager as he slept.
    "He mentioned to me, he had these urges that he had to satisfy one way or another," Victim #1 added. "He'd threaten he'd have random acts of sex and get AIDS otherwise."
    While Victim #1's overarching memories were clear, the fine details were a bit... hazy. When asked about the number of sexual encounters he had with Morales, Victim #1 said, "about a dozen." When asked when the abuse began, Victim #1 couldn't identify a month, or even a season. Morales' public defender, Alan Drew, used that poor memory recall to try and derail the prosecution's credibility.
    "The only evidence the state has in this case is their [victims] testimony; their 30-year-old recollections," Drew stated to the court.
    "Kids don't carry around calendars when they're being abused," Assistant Montgomery County State's Attorney Amanda Michalski rebutted.
    Prosecutors say Morales became more confident, soon molesting Victim #1's friends during sleepovers. Jeremy Cook tells ABC7, he was one of those boys.
    "This man was a predator. He found every way to get inside, to be trusted, to be respected, to be in a position of authority. He then used that authority to abuse each of us individually, alone, in the middle-of-the-night, for his own pleasure," Cook remarked.
    Cook, who now lives in Raleigh, N.C. with his wife and three children, estimates Morales molested him around 50 times. Fearing public shame and scrutiny from church elders, Cook kept silent until Victim #2 reported the abuse to police in 2009.
    "You have to realize, Nate was a powerful man, and I was a young boy. Who were they going to believe," Cook explained. "There was also a fear if this came out, I would lose all of my friends. I didn't want the stigma and shame."
    In 1992, Victim #1 garnered the courage to tell his parents about the abuse. Cook followed-suit in 1994, but by that time, Morales had vanished.
    "I fell to the floor," Ann Cook recalled. "I was devastated; devastated that he felt he had to keep a secret like that; devastated that it cost him so much during such an important time in his life."
    The Cooks and Victim #1's parents reported the allegations to the pastoral team at Covenant Life Church. However, it never contacted law enforcement.
    "Did you have an obligation to report the alleged abuse," public defender Drew asked former pastor Grant Layman during cross-examination. "I believe so," Layman replied. "And you didn't," Drew followed-up. "No," Layman added.
    "If you're not going to be the guy in the van saying, 'here little girl do you want candy,' than get into a church that's an isolated cult where it will never get to the police because it will all be handled in the church," Cook said.
    On Thursday, the jury, made-up of five men and seven women, will continue its deliberations. Morales, who's currently incarcerated, faces five felony counts of Sex Abuse Minor and Sex Offense Second Degree.
    "He was a duplicitous monster... Still it's not about revenge, it's not even necessarily about justice, it's about preventing him from ever harming anyone else again," Cook concluded.

    Read more:
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    Friday, April 25

    EWTN News Interview - Canonization of Popes

    EWTN News interviews former U.S. Secret Service Specialist, Brian Gallagher, and discuses security concerns for this weekends double canonization of popes John Paul II and John XXIII at the Vatican in Rome.

    Monday, April 14

    10th Annual National Church Security Conference

    10th Annual National Church Security Conference

    Dates: Friday and Saturday August 8th and 9th

    Location: New Life Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Hosted By:

    Click Here to Register

    Chuck Chadwick
    Chuck Chadwick founded Gatekeepers Alliance in January of 2002 as an informal meeting of Security/Facilities Directors from some of the largest churches in the DFW area. Meetings were held to discuss issues/challenges and it was found that regardless of location the issues/challenges were similar. Chuck's home church (Fellowship Church, Grapevine, TX) grew from 6,000 TWA (Typical worship Attendance) to 22K and then from one location to multi-site. At the height of the organization Chuck directed and multi-jurisdictional task force of some 40 officers composed of Law Enforcement, Private Protection Officer, Security Guards and volunteers.

    In 2005 Chuck left full time Church Security Director employment to dedicate his life to Gatekeepers Alliance teaching seminars and putting together “Best Practices” for churches around the nation. The first Church Security Conference was held at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano TX in 2005. Chuck continues to direct the security operations of some of the largest churches in America through Gatekeepers Security Services, LLC. a Texas Corporation.  Conferences and Seminars are held several times a year in churches across the nation and membership has grown to hundreds of member churches.

    In November of 2007 the name of the organization was changed to, The National Organization of Church Security and Safety Management, LLC - "We feel the name change better reflects the broader scope and purpose of the organization”.

    NOCSSM continues the original mission by providing educational courses, conferences for churches throughout the nation as the "First Name in Church Security".

    Carl Chinn
    Carl Chinn was introduced to the need for security while serving as Building Engineer for Focus on the Family – a Colorado ministry founded (and led at the time) by Dr. James Dobson. Like others in faith-based management, Chinn had dismissed the subject of emergency readiness through much of his career, considering it an inconvenient distraction of debatable importance.
    Experiences changed his views on the subject. In 1996 he was a responder in a standoff with an angry gunman who took hostages at the Focus on the Family ministry. Following the attacker’s trial, Chinn began researching and writing on the subject of criminal and other incidents in North American ministries. In 2005, he and others began to develop an intentional security program for New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO. He was one of the team of responders directly involved with the active shooter on 12/09/2007. He continues to serve New Life security as the threat investigator and liaison between law enforcement and ministry security operations.
    Chinn travels and speaks at national conferences on the subject of real life lessons learned in the ministry security incidents experienced. His research and experiences have been featured in national media and publications including Focus on the Family, The 700 Club, Preaching Magazine, Christianity Today, the Washington Post, Moody Bible Institute and various radio interviews. He has spoken at colleges, seminaries, churches, ASIS, charitable events and the National Organization of Church Security & Safety Management.

    Brian Gallagher
    Brian Gallagher is Director of Business Development at Decision Sciences International Corporation (DSIC), a security solutions company. In this role, Gallagher supports the company’s ongoing business development efforts domestically and abroad.
    Gallagher joins DSIC after serving almost 10 years with the U.S. Secret Service. For the last six years, he served as Senior Physical Security Specialist in the Technical Security Division and provided expertise and guidance on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) countermeasures and physical security; performed protective detail for our nation’s leaders and visiting world leaders; educated other security personnel; and made product and equipment purchasing recommendations.
    Gallagher has a thorough understanding of physical security regulations and an in-depth knowledge of security methods, procedures and use of surveillance systems and countermeasures for weapons of mass destruction. Prior to the Secret Service, he held a number of protective service roles for more than a decade including security management and emergency medical services.
    In his spare time, he is dedicated to community and volunteer work related to public safety. He holds a number of advanced training certifications such as paramedic, firefighter, hazardous materials specialist and weapons of mass destruction specialist.
    Gallagher received a bachelor’s in Homeland Security from American Military University and is currently pursuing a master’s in Professional Studies, Homeland Security - Information Security and Forensics, from Pennsylvania State University.

    Bob Klamser
    Bob Klamser is the Executive Director ofCrisis Consulting International and co-founder, a non-profit organization that provides security and crisis management services to the missionary, humanitarian and NGO communities.  Crisis Consulting International conducts training seminars and consults with organizations on a wide variety of topics related to organizational and member security, especially in dangerous and hostile environments.  The organization also provides hands-on assistance during emergencies.  These services include hostage negotiations, evacuation management, response to extortion, risk assessments, site surveys, etc.
    Mr. Klamser retired from a twenty-three year law enforcement career in 1994.  During that career he held a wide range of responsibilities, including command of a criminal investigation unit, command of a hostage negotiation team and command of the operations section of a municipal government’s emergency operations center.  In addition to his responsibilities with Crisis Consulting International, he has served as the Missions Pastor and Administrator of a large Southern California church.  He also serves on the Professional Services Network of the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies.
    Mr. Klamser has presented training seminars and conducted consultations involving literally hundreds of organizations throughout the world.  He has personally participated in hostage negotiations in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.  He has provided other crisis management and security services throughout the world. 
    Mr. Klamser earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in management and executive leadership.  He has published professional articles and has conducted pre-publication editorial review for two international security management books.  He is a frequent conference and workshop speaker and has appeared as an expert commentator and as a technical consultant on several major television networks.  He and his wife, a retired police officer, reside in Southern California.

    Greg Love
    Greg Love - Attorneys at Law, is a partner at the law firm of Love & Norris, based in Fort Worth Texas, and a founder and director of MinistrySafe.  He earned a B.A. in Accounting from Texas Tech University in 1987, followed by a J.D. from Texas Tech School of Law where he served on the law review.  He is a member of the Texas State Bar, Tarrant County Bar Association, and a Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation.  His peers have repeatedly chosen him as one of Tarrant County’s “Top Attorneys”.  Mr. Love serves as a guest lecturer at Texas Wesleyan School of Law, Dallas Theological Seminary, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
    MinistrySafe - In addition to an active law practice, Love and Norris are co-founders and Directors of MinistrySafe and Abuse Prevention Systems, entities dedicated to sexual abuse awareness and prevention.  MinistrySafe and Abuse Prevention Systems provide Sexual Abuse Awareness Training (live and online) and assist child care entities and organizations in the design and implementation of safety systems which reduce the risk of child sexual abuse.  Love and Norris are frequent speakers before educational entities, youth and children's ministries, day care, youth camps, and adoption and foster care organizations.  They have addressed national and regional audiences for organizations such as the National Association of Church Business Administrators ( NACBA ), National Council for Adoption (NCFA ), Young Life, Youth Ministry Institute ( NOBTS ), Kanakuk, the Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly, Church of the Nazarene, Prevent Child Abuse Texas, and Texas Alliance for Children and Families, and are featured writers for the upcoming NACBA resource entitled Professional Practices in Church Administration.

    Jimmy Meeks
    Jimmy Meeks, Sheepdog Seminars for Churches Jimmy will speak on the scriptural validity of the need for Church Security and the calling he has felt to the church security ministry.  Jimmy has been a police officer since 1980. He is a licensed and ordained minister, certified school resource officer, police-training officer, hostage negotiator and a certified crime prevention specialist.

    Bob Wild

    Bob Wild has been the Director of Finance and Administration and Risk Management for two mega churches over the past 20 years: Vineyard Christian Fellowship of North Phoenix and Christ's Church of the Valley, both located in the Phoenix area.  Bob has served on several boards including the local Phoenix NACBA chapter, CCV Youth Sports Inc., the largest nonprofit youth sports program in Arizona, Financial Planning Ministry and the Boys and Girls Club in Austin Texas among others.  Bob wrote and self published an instruction manual for church planters called:  Growing Your Church From The Ground Up: The Corporate Side. Bob has been published in Church Executive Magazine and more recently in Christianity Today and Group Publishing professional edition for their Children's Magazine.  In 2009 Bob joined the team at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company as the Sr. Director-Strategic Alliances.  Bob holds degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters Degree in Business.