Sunday, February 28

Man with Gun Rides Horse to Church while Drunk

ELLISBURG, Ky. -- Members of a small central Kentucky church successfully disarmed a man who rode horseback to morning services, then walked into the church with a holstered gun. Police said the man, 43, was arrested about an hour later at a house and charged with public intoxication.

Saturday, February 27

Shot at Church Gun Safety Class

"ORLANDO, Fl -- A gun safety class attendee in Orlando, Fla., was accidentally shot in the foot by his instructor, police reported. Robert Frauman Jr., 50, was one of three students at a concealed weapons certification class at Summit Church Saturday, when he was struck by the stray bullet, a church spokeswoman told the Orlando Sentinel, adding he was "doing well" and the bullet did not hit any bones."

If your church is having a gun safety class for its security team, PLEASE make sure that you emphasis the "SAFETY" part...


Rules of Safe Gun Handling
RULE 1. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
RULE 2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
RULE 3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
RULE 4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

Friday, February 26

Church adds Security in Georgia after Attack

"MOULTRIE, GA — An attack of a Moultrie businessman Wednesday night has caused a church to bring in security measures. The Rev. Hugh Ward, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, said he spoke with Moultrie Police Chief Frank Lang Thursday following the Wednesday night attack. Tom Holman reported a black male struck him in the head with an unknown object, causing an inch-long gash on his forehead as he was leaving the church..."

Thursday, February 25

Instruments Stolen from Boston Area Church

"LAWRENCE - A Lawrence pastor is vowing to keep the music playing even though more than $4,000 worth of musical instruments and equipment has been stolen from his church. An additional $2,000 worth of computers and other equipment was also stolen."

The below picture is of a storage system that I found online. Many churches that I have worked with have developed a similar type of system for their facilities. The general idea is to have a security cage to lock up your valuable musical equipment. You can establish multiple different policies that work well for your congregation. Some suggestions are to place a pad lock on the cage and only allow one or two people to have access to it. If someone needs their equipment then they would have to work through one of the key holders. Another way would be to put a combination lock on the door and give to code to all musical related employees or staff. In this scenario it might be a good idea to change to combination on a regular rotation.

Wednesday, February 24

Honeywell Installs integrated IP-based Church Security System

"Honeywell has completed installation of an integrated, IP-based system that centralises and streamlines security operations for the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship (OCBF) campus in Dallas, Texas. Installed by Honeywell-certified integratorStanley Convergent Security Solutions, Inc., the scalable system covers multiple facilities located on the campus, including the worship centre that seats 3,400 for services every Sunday." 

Tuesday, February 23

Another Church Roof Collapse

"MADISON TWP. — The Poasttown First Church of God’s fellowship hall will be silent this Sunday for the first time in 12 years after its roof caved into the building."

I was tempted not to post about another church roof collapsing; however, I felt that maybe one more story would help illustrate my point... Folks you need to make sure that your churches have a safe roof system. If you live in an area that has experienced significant snow fall then you must take this into consideration. The weight from a large amount of snow will eventually cause the support beams to collapse and the roof to come down with it. Please pay extra attention if you happen to have a flat roof. This aids in snow buildup and is normally harder for snow to melt due to clogged and frozen drain pipes. 

Monday, February 22

Mark Driscoll - Mars Hill Church Break-In

Breaking News!!
I normally never blog more than once in a day; however, I was just informed of a break-in at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. Mars Hill Church is Pastored by Mark Driscoll who I know many of my readers have a connection to. Mark has also commented often of the topic of Church Security from the national pulpit. View the news story below. I have also attached some other blog posts in reference to Mark Driscoll.

Mark Driscoll Blog Posts:

Church Fire Baltimore, MD

WBAL's Robert Lang reports from the fire which has gutted the Mount Calvary Star Baptist Church in Northeast Baltimore. The church located blocks from the Baltimore Cemetery. Baltimore Fire Chief James Clack told WBAL News that a back wall of the church collapsed and firefighters had to fight this blaze from the outside, because the entire building was in danger of collapsing.

Sunday, February 21

One Dead in Roof Collapse

"CLINTON - One person is dead and two more were in critical condition after the trusses of a church roof under construction collapsed Thursday afternoon."

Saturday, February 20

15-year-old boy Arrested in Church Shooting

"Police arrested a 15-year-old boy Thursday in connection with a shooting in a Richmond, CA church that wounded a pair of teenage brothers sitting in the pews and sent parishioners diving for cover."

Read more:

Friday, February 19

Hawaii Church Turns to Church Security

“A Waikiki church has hired off-duty police officers to provide security during Sunday services after three incidents of disruptive behavior by different people. The doors are now locked except during services at St. Augustine Church at 130 Ohua Ave., breaking a long-standing open-door tradition.”

“One individual, a Middle Eastern man who was a Catholic, came up on the altar during Mass. He wanted to talk to the congregation about the threat of HIV-AIDS, said Akiona. He was persuaded to step down peaceably.”

"Another time, someone with a beef came up on the altar during Mass. The priest happened to be a visiting police chaplain from Oakland and he knew how to handle the situation, Akiona said. “The priest walked the man away from the altar and talked to him later.”

“In the third event, Mass had ended and Akiona was visiting with congregation members.”

"Several people had given me lei because it was my anniversary, said the priest, who is Hawaiian. One guy came up to me and said derogatory things about Hawaiians. I refused to speak to him and he went berserk, screaming and shouting."

“That's when police were called. The priest and his associates decided to hire special-duty officers in uniform to show a presence during February services. There hasn't been any disruption since then.”

Read Full Article:

Thursday, February 18

Morning Coffee Surprise

What would you do if you unlocked and opened up your church one morning, walked into your office and there was a man sitting at your desk sipping coffee? This is what occurred Monday morning at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Erie.

Police said Chad M. Walburn, 25, “broke through one of the doors of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and caused extensive damage to the building”… “He damaged almost everything in the altar area,” said church pastor Karen Lundwall. “It looks like he was just doing it for the sake of vandalizing”.

Wednesday, February 17

Practical Jokes, Skits and Church Security

Many times Pastors and Preachers will use humor to make a point. Churches will also use drama and skits to help illustrated a theme or topic. After the shooting at Maryville Baptist Church in Illinois an attendee commented to the press that they though the whole thing was a skit before they realized it was really happening. I was thinking today that it would be a real tragedy if a Church decided to play a joke or use a skit that involved a weapon and instinctively an attendee reacted with force. A church does not always know who is in attendance. It may be an off-duty police officer passing by as a guest or a long time church patron with a gun permit and permission to carry.

It is a sad fact but a reality that one must view church similar to how one views an airline in a post 9/11 world. The reality in both situations is that crime is occurring and it needs to be stopped at times with force.

So let this be a plea to all churches NOT to use weapons or crime in a skits or plays that may catch an onlooker off-guard by mistake. 

Tuesday, February 16

Surviving a Violent Attack at Church

I found this article online today and felt it was worth passing on.  The article is titled "Surviving a Violent Attack at Church, What to do when the unthinkable happens" By: Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company

The article highlights 5 Options for Survival:

1. Getting away
2. Locking down
3. Concealment
4. Playing dead
5. Confronting the attacker

Click on the link for the full article...

Monday, February 15

Church Shooting - California

RICHMOND, Calif. (AP) — "A gunman wearing a hooded sweatshirt and flanked by two companions walked into a San Francisco Bay area church and stalked the aisles before opening fire during a Sunday service, wounding two teenagers, police said. The three men wore their hoods over their heads and investigators believe they were scanning the pews for someone before firing about five shots and hitting a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year-old man at about 12:30 p.m. in front of about 100 people at New Gethsemane Church of God in Christ, Richmond police Sgt. Bisa French said."

(AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Brant Ward)

Sunday, February 14

Church Members Scammed

"Two leaders of the Local Christian Assembly Church in Queens who fleeced their flock out of more than $9.3 million in an investment scam pleaded guilty yesterday in Brooklyn federal court.
Robert Riddle, 60, a leader of the Forest Hills church who encouraged elderly parishioners to mortgage their homes to invest in the bogus Jadis Capital investment fund, admitted he knew the money was going toward clothing, trips and expensive cars."

"Timothy Smith, 36, a vice president of the fund, also pleaded guilty. They face five years in prison."

Read more:

Saturday, February 13

Newborn Abandoned at Church

"The child, named John for the church, died Thursday at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston in Decatur...Baby John was only a few hours old when he was found naked in the corner of a church garden gazebo."

(Picture: Phil Skinner

Friday, February 12

Jackson Mississippi Security Conference

"Nearly 200 area clergy members packed Jackson's Mississippi police training academy for the House of Worship Crime Prevention Seminar held Wednesday in west Jackson. With a rash of recent church burglaries, law enforcement and clergy have come together to discuss preventative measures." (Vickie D. King/The Clarion-Ledger) 

During Hurricane Katrina I had the opportunity to stay the the Jackson Mississippi Police Training Academy. This was a staging location for federal assets. I have attached some pictures for your enjoyment. 

Thursday, February 11

Security Cameras and Churches

"Our society has changed," said Pastor Tony Watson, with First Baptist Church Winona. "We are at a place now where some things that were considered sacred are not sacred all the time...We hope that it {Security Cameras} will be a deterrent, for one thing, but, second of all, it does give us some peace of mind that we feel like we've taken some steps to protect," said Watson.

Wednesday, February 10

Church Roof Collapses with Weight of Snow

This story is one of many regarding churches who have had their roofs collapse due to the weight of the snow that has been left on them. The Mid-Atlantic is getting blasted again with its second blizzard in one week. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent this from occurring now. It is not safe to crawl up on your roof during or even right after the storm. The best thing you can do it take initial precautions and make sure your facility has a good strong roof before a storm strikes. In the event that you notice sever leaking or it you notice the roof dipping, evacuate the building and have it evaluated as soon as the appropriate contractors can make it your your facility.

Tuesday, February 9

Church Parking Lots and Security

When looking at the safety and security of a church building, you should start at the perimeter of the property and move inward. Special concerns should be made for parking lots and the exterior of the church. Having a member of your security team patrol the parking lots may be a first line of defense for an incoming threat. 

Monday, February 8

Medical Programs, Teams and Issues

If you think back over the last two years, I am sure that you can come up with at least one example, if not many, of times that someone in your church has needed medical assistance. 

Is your church prepared to handle such an emergency? Do you have the equipment and supplies in place to help and possibly save a life, or at minimum, stabilize until professional help arrives? Every church may not be able to have a doctor on standby; however, each church should have a basic plan to handle a medical emergency within their facility. In addition to medical emergencies it is important to understand challenges related to members with chronic medicals problems, as well as assisting families with special needs children. Many churches also face challenges with mentally unstable or depressed members, guests or walk-ins.

Sunday, February 7

Church Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA):

An average of 1,300 church fires are reported each year, causing $38 million in property damage.

The leading cause of church fires is arson (25%).

30% of church fires are the result of mechanical failures. Faulty wiring and improperly functioning heating systems are often at fault, perhaps because the are in older structures and have not been brought up to local fire codes. 

Of churches that reported fires, 65% had no smoke alarms and 96% had no sprinkler systems.

Saturday, February 6

Snow Day!

The East Cost is being hit with what the National Weather Service is calling one of the worst storms in recent history! While listening to the radio today a listener called into the station pleading to other listeners to make sure they clear the fire hydrants of snow within their neighborhoods. The caller went on to state that during the last storm in DC she had a close friend who's house burnt down because fire fighters could not find the fire hydrant because it was buried under the snow!

I have the same plea to you!! Please make sure that all fire hydrants around your church are fully clear of snow. This is a small task that can make a big difference!

Friday, February 5

Need Your Help!

I would like to start this post off by saving thank you for investing your time reading this blog. I hope that it has been able to bring you some good information on the topic of "Church Safety and Security".

I need your help to keep this blog growing!! Please refer this site to anyone who you might think would find it interesting or helpful. Connections with christian or religious organizations that would be willing to link this blog to their site is extremely helpful and important.

Thanks again for your support!!

Thursday, February 4

Carbon Monoxide Strike Again!

"Between 60 and 70 people were evacuated Tuesday night from the Word of God Worship Center when Milwaukee fire fighters responding to a medical emergency detected elevated carbon monoxide levels, a fire official said."

In November of last year I posted on Carbon Monoxide. The above article is a good reminder about Carbon Monoxide safety. Click below to read about "Carbon Monoxide, The Silent Killer"

"Carbon Monoxide, The Silent Killer" November 2009

Wednesday, February 3

Church Burglary Caught on Tape

Its not often that you capture a church burglary on tape. More churches should have surveillance video. It serves as both a deterrence and as a way to assist in catching and convicting criminals who may commit a crime against your church. 

Tuesday, February 2

Churches Unite to Combat Crime

Multiple churches in the Jackson, Mississippi area have become victim to multiple crimes in this new era of economic hardship. Local law enforcement along with area churches have formed a church watch group. Other jurisdictions should follow this example and liaison with other churches in their local area. Regardless of denomination or affiliation a good relationship with neighboring churches can bring a wealth of knowledge to your congregation. 

"As Jackson police and church officials come together to combat a rash of church burglaries, one minister says the problem could get worse because of the economy and job losses...The rash of recent church burglaries have alarmed the public, destroying the widely held belief that criminals would respect God’s house."

Monday, February 1

10 Baptist Church Members Detained in Haiti

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Haitian police yesterday arrested 10 American Baptist Church members as they tried to bus 33 orphaned children across the border into the Dominican Republic allegedly without proper documentation, a spokesman for the Central Valley Baptist Church said.

Thousands of church goers have flocked to Haiti to provided assistance to victims of this most resent tragedy. The majority of the people i speak with know at least one person who has travel to this country to offer support. This article is an important reminder to all those who may be in the country to remember that regardless of the tragedy that has occurred the Haitian Government is still in force. The United States Government is play a major role in the recovery act provided on the ground; however, this is still a foreign nation and those who are their helping are still subject to their laws. 

I do not know the full details of this story. I am not implying that the individuals in question are indeed wrong. I am using their example as a warning for all those who may be traveling abroad to keep this story in mind while making decisions on your course of action.