Monday, May 30

Case Closed - Matt Hill

Courtesy of Mike Allen, Politico

MATT HILL, the campus outreach worker whose disappearance mobilized hundreds of Christians in a remarkable grid search in D.C. and Arlington, was found unharmed yesterday in Asheville, N.C. The FindMattHill Facebook page announced yesterday: “He … left on his own will. We don't have any answers. We praise God he is alive, but ask you continue to pray.” The Facebook page was then deleted, to keep unhelpful comments from circulating.

--A.D.C. police official told the Charlotte Observer that detectives got a lead that Hill was in Asheville, and that police there made contact with him around 4 a.m.: “He just left on his own -- for personal reasons. I guess he just wanted to get away.” Hill is a member of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, where senior pastor Mark Dever yesterday preached that no matter the outcome, the purpose of trials is God’s glory, which should inspire humility and trust.

--Local television, blogs and network morning shows swarmed the story. The church was media-friendly, allowing reporters access to searchers and friends of Hill. Who thought it wasn’t an interesting story? The Washington Post, which prints four sentences of AP on page B3.

Sunday, May 29

Breaking News! - Matt Hill Found Alive

Breaking News

Matt Hill has been found alive and unharmed! No other details available at this time.

WUSA9 - Search for Matt Hill Intensifies

WASHINGTON (WUSA) - The search for a missing DC Campus Outreach minister who mentors students at George Washington University is growing in scale and outreach.

On Saturday, volunteers with the Capitol Hill Baptist Church, covered the map looking for Matt Hill, 26, a Charlotte native who went missing on Tuesday. Organizers used a giant map of the region to divide up into sections for various groups.

Some passed out fliers at major events like the Nationals game, others rode their bikes looking for Matt Hill's vehicle near his church and many more drove far out to areas like Southeast and Mount Vernon to search for the 1996 Black Honda Civic LX.

Click for Full Article

CBS Sports - Matt Hill

From CBS Sports
By Matt Snyder

Red Sox setup man Daniel Bard is dealing with an off-field issue right now and he's seeking a little help from anyone who can offer it.

Matt Hill, a childhood friend of Bard's, has gone missing. Hill, 26, grew up with Bard in North Carolina and was one of his groomsmen. Hill was last seen in the Washington D.C. area Tuesday morning. He was mentoring a student at George Washington University as part of a campus outreach ministry program.

Bard said he first became worried when a mutual friend called and asked Bard if Hill might have come to Boston to hang out with Bard for the week. Only it was Thursday morning and the Red Sox were in Detroit.

Bard has been asking fellow major leaguers and all reporters to tweet and retweet information about his friend with hopes that someone will find something to help police in their search. There's a Facebook page, too.

Bard definitely suspects foul play.

"He was one of the most positive, outgoing, happy people I've ever met,'' Bard said. "I'm not just saying that. I think anyone who met him would say that. He loves his job, loves the people he works with. He's not married. There's nothing tying him down, nothing to run from. So that's why this all seems so strange.''

"He's a clean-cut guy," Bard continued (ESPN Boston). "He's never done a drug in his life, so we're 99 percent sure that something external was involved.'' 

Saturday, May 28

Politico Report on Matt Hill

ATT HILL STILL MISSING – “D.C. efforts intensify to find missing 26-year-old” – WTOP: “D.C. police now have classified a 26-year-old Christian outreach worker last seen Tuesday morning near the Verizon Center as a ‘critical missing person.’ A Facebook page has been set up to help locate Matthew Alan Hill … Friends say he was last seen at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday near the Verizon Center … Hill -- who works for Campus Outreach D.C. and does campus ministry at George Washington University -- had been in Chinatown that morning to drop off a student he was mentoring … Cmdr. Michael Reese says Hill is a ‘very conscientious person’ who ‘keeps in touch with everyone.’” has 411  ... Facebook page

From: Mike Allen's Politico Playbook

Friday, May 27

NewsChannel 36 - Matt Hill Missing

News Report From: News Channel 36
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A Matthews man working with a college ministry group in Washington, D.C. is missing and is the subject of a widening manhunt.
Matthew Hill, 26, was last seen around 10:30 Tuesday morning in the Chinatown area of D.C. He'd dropped a student off there, after working with him on a ministry project, and colleagues believe he planned to head back to Capitol Hill Baptist Church where his organization works. The student he worked with said Hill seemed just fine when he left him.
Friends and family tell police that it would be very out of character for Matt to take off without notice. Police say his cell phone is shut off.
"I've tried not to let my mind wander too much because it's already traveled the full spectrum of possibilities, none of which are very good," his father, Holger Hill said Friday afternoon.
Holger and his son Daniel arrived in D.C. Thursday to assist with the search.
"Know that we love you and we are doing everything we can, and that everything is going to be just fine," Holger Hill said.
Matt Hill had been working with an organization called Campus Outreach at George Washington University since last August. The group provides tutoring and Christian-based support for college students. Hill's friends and colleagues have used Campus Outreach's home church, Capitol Hill Baptist, as a home base for a massive search, combing the area near his Foggy Bottom apartment.
"We just confirmed he got a parking ticket on Tuesday, the 24th at 11:09 a.m. That would lead us to believe the car ended back here on 26th Street," said Thomas Snow, Hill's roommate.
His car, a 1996 Honda Civic with license plate DT2747, is still missing.
Thursday, friends also began searching gas stations in Virginia after police said Hill's credit card was used at a station in Arlington. Police hoped to view surveillance video from the gas station Friday to determine if Hill used the card himself.
Hill is an Elon University graduate and baseball player who grew up in Matthews and has many friends in the area.
"You feel like you're in a dream. You watch this on TV, You don't think this is going to land in your neighborhood," said Andrew Holbrook, a pastor at Christ Covenant.
Holbrook has been friends with Hill for five years. He spoke with Hill's mother just before speaking with NewsChannel 36 Friday.
"Any mom out there could imagine how she is doing. It's very hard," said Holbrook.
Hill's friends have started a Facebook page at!/findmatthill to call attention to the disappearance.
"We need people to get involved and give as much information if they have any to helping us find his whereabouts," Holbrook said.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call police at 202-727-9099.

Updated Fox News Report - Matt Hill Missing

Friends, Co-Workers Seek Clues in Search For Missing DC Christian Outreach Worker:

By BOB BARNARD/myfoxdc

WASHINGTON - A Baptist church on Capitol Hill has become the command headquarters for friends and co-workers of a Christian outreach worker missing since Tuesday.

Matt Hill disappeared without a trace, leaving few clues behind. He was last seen at 9th and H Streets in Northwest near Chinatown 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. His colleagues at Campus Outreach DC say Hill dropped off a young George Washington University student he had been mentoring and that is the last anybody has seen the 26-year-old Elon University graduate.

Hill was supposed to go to his job at Capitol Hill Baptist Church after dropping off the college student, but he never showed up. His roommate says it appears Hill stopped by their apartment on 26th Street in Foggy Bottom.

Bank records reportedly show somebody used Hill's credit card to buy $33.01 in gas at an Exxon station in Arlington just before noon.

Hill's car is also missing. It is a black 1996 Honda civic with DC tags DT2747.

Friends say Matt Hill's cell phone has been off since he disappeared and that nobody has heard from him.

D.C. Police are calling it a critical missing person case.

Hill's father and brother have flown to Washington, D.C. from North Carolina, telling FOX 5 News they will be meeting with the FBI on Friday.

Read more:

Thursday, May 26

Matt Hill - Fox New Report

Missing Person - Washington, DC

I received a phone call today from a friend at Capitol Hill Baptist. A staff member from their church went missing on Tuesday. A multi-jusrisdiction search is currently underway trying to find him. Please help us support this effort!

Matt Hill, pictured above, went missing on Tuesday morning after leaving the Verizon Center in his black 1996 Honda Civic with DC plate DT2747. He hasn’t been seen since, nor has his car. There’s a Facebook group (Praying for Matt Hill) going for coordinating the search for Mr. Hill started by his friends. They have opened up cases with MPD and ACPD. If you’ve seen Matt, or his missing car, please let the police or his friends know.

Last Seen Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
Verizon Center– Washington DC
10:30 am

Last seen Driving a
1996 Black Honda Civic LX
Car missing too

**Please contact with any information you might have***

Family Contact: Holger Hill 704-839-9699
DC Metro Office Contact: RW Kennedy- 202-715-7300 (precinct number)
Detective McClam: 202-730-1903
Missing Persons Case # 073-157
Detective in Montgomery County: Rod Stevens


Friday, May 20

Pastor's Sunday Sermon Interrupted By Protest

From: KSAT

SAN ANTONIO -- Claiming to stand in solidarity with Palestinians, several demonstrators repeatedly disrupted Pastor John Hagee's Sunday sermon at Cornerstone Church.

Shouting statements like "Genocide does not bring honor to Israel," the demonstrators were removed by church security. The planned disruptions were captured on cell phone video and posted on YouTube.

Video available on website for those viewing this thread with an smartphone

How would your church handle a situation like this? Please let other readers know your thoughts!

Texas Red Hot Church Security Conference

Contact: Chuck Chadwick, The National Organization of Church Security & Safety Management, 972-712-8818

FRISCO, Texas, May 19, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- "The National Organization of Church Security & Safety Management (NOCSSM) will present a two day "Texas Red Hot" Church Security Conference to be hosted by Covenant Church, Carrollton, TX on July 15-16, 2011.

Active Shooter, Armed Guards, Terrorism, Emergency Evacuation, Childcare liability, Video Surveillance, Policies and Procedures - these are all buzzwords that every church has to address. "

Click for Article

Monday, May 16

Background Checks a Must for Southern Baptist Church Workers

From: The Journal of Southern Baptist Convention

"Recent statistics suggest that criminal background checks are a must for every children's and youth worker in every Southern Baptist church. And experts echo the warning...of the 450 churches that requested background checks, one in seven applicants for ministry positions were found to have a criminal history that may have disqualified them from volunteering or working in a particular role in a church...Bob Perkins, chief of campus police at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Kentucky, and a veteran law enforcement official, said that while hidden criminal pasts may be less common in the church than the business world, all prior offenses should raise concern regarding potential ministry workers."
Click for Article has set up a special program with IntelliCorp. For more information on products you can contact Alan Larkin Directly at 1-800-539-3717 ext. 109 or via web at

Sunday, May 15

Glade Springs Site Visit

I had the opportunity to visit Glade Springs, VA last week and tour some of the disaster sites from the tornado that destroyed this town. As noted in my previous post, local churches were the ones that were looked to for help to provide disaster services to the community. Here are a few of the pictures that I took.

 This was a church in Glade Springs, VA that was leveled!

This was an apartment complex in Glade Springs, VA

This is in Abingdon, VA. Off in the distance you can see a barn that was leveled! You can also see how the trees are missing from the mountain side.

This is part of the historic Creeper Trail in Abingdon, VA. A F3 Tornado pick up this bridge and turned it into tooth picks. 

Local Churches Provide Disaster Assistance

The following story was written last week by the associated press. You will notice in the story that local churches were the ones that were looked to in order to provide support for those who were devastated by this tragedy. Think about your church and if you have a plan to react in the event of a disaster in your local community.

GLADE SPRING, Va. (AP) - "Two tornado-relief centers in Washington County are closing as the focus of recovery has shifted to rebuilding structures the storm destroyed.

Joy Baptist Church and Old Glade Presbyterian Church housed relief centers, where volunteers helped collect and distribute items to tornado victims. Organizers at the churches say the centers are closing this week.

Four people were killed in Washington County when the April 28 tornado swept through southwest Virginia, destroying numerous buildings and injuring 50 people.

Old Glade's relief center coordinator Elaine Smythe tells the Bristol Herald Courier that people can best help by donating money or buying specific construction supplies.

Glade Spring Baptist Church and Glade Spring Fire Department will keep their centers open for the next couple weeks."

Hat Tip: Mike Allen, Politico

Wednesday, May 11

Preventing Theft of Valuable Metals from Churches

Should this come to the United States next?

From: The Northern Echo

"A NEW security system aimed at preventing the theft of lead and other valuable metals from buildings is being trialled by a North-East firm.

The Vipa Defender system is being tested at St Paul’s Church, in Spennymoor, County Durham, and St Mary’s Church, in Darlington, before being made available throughout the country.

It has been developed by Vipa UK, which is based in Darlington, in response to the soaring levels of metal thefts – now said to account for a quarter of all crime."

Click for article and more information

Monday, May 9

New: Church Safety and Security Conference

San Diego National Church Safety and Security Conference
June 23rd and 24th, 2011 

From: The Rock Church

"Every Church needs to be prepared for the real challenges we all face. From the smallest to the largest congregation, we all need to have the skills and awareness to best serve our members, our communities and our God in the safest way possible. Learn how to Plan, Protect, and Recover from potential hazards in our uncertain world."

Thursday 8:00am
Pastor Miles McPherson

Welcome Message.

Thursday 10:00am
Lt. Dave Dalton

Earthquakes: prepare yourself, your home, your workplace and your church and recover from the next major seisimic event. (1 hr)

Thursday 11:30am
Mr. James Lofton

We are pleased to present Mr. James Lofton, NFL Hall of Famer and former NFL MVP and 3 time Superbowl winner as our very special guest lunchtime speaker.

Hear his testimony as he shares his compelling story of his life beyond the field serving his church and his community

Thursday 1:00pm
Dr. Steve Albrecht, PHR, CPP
"Active Shooter responses: The Two-Choice solution"

This dynamic presentation will help teach you and your staff and volunteers how to survive and win in a sudden violent encounter. (1 hr)

Thursday 2:00 pm
Lt. Andrew Mills

Terror Awareness for Houses of Worship "What you need to know". (1 hr)

Thursday 3:30pm
Mike Diggs

Recruiting and developing a volunteer Security team Children's Security

"Keeping our kids safe" Establish & improve your childcare safety procedures. (1 hr)

Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm
INFRAGARD presents:
"Active shooter on campus"

Live tabletop exercise with 200 law enforcement and private security professionals. Q & A with the experts. (4 hr)


Saturday, May 7

Mars Hill Church: Why Church Security?

From: Mars Hill Church Blog

“Why does a church need a security team??” That question is mostly asked incredulously when people visit one of our campuses and see a team of usually large guys wearing polo shirts in the lobby, the children’s ministry, and the sanctuary.

Security within our church can be a misunderstood concept. Many people believe that security does not belong in the church. On the one hand, there are people who say it unnecessarily heightens a perception of threat, and on the other, people say it means we’re not trusting in the sovereignty of God (to protect his church). We also recognize there are people who are simply opposed to our church and the gospel of Jesus. As Pastor Mark said in the 2007 sermon, “Pain and Progress,” from the Nehemiah sermon series, “Not everybody in Seattle has the same agenda as we do. Our goal is to read the Bible and love Jesus. … That’s not the most popular agenda in Seattle.” We get that, and the fact that people might oppose us is not what worries us. But here’s what we’re very committed to: people should be able to come to a Mars Hill Church service and worship in peace."

Click for Full Article

Mars Hill Church posted an article on their church website this week explaining why they have church security. The article does a great job outline why the security is there and how it works.

Tuesday, May 3

Politico: The Mission Behind Osama bin Laden

A good friend of mine, Mike Allen with Politico, has written several articles on the mission behind Osama bin Laden.

Here are a few links to his articles over the last two days. Mike is one of the highest respected reporters in Washington, DC and is a trusted source for news information!

Wild moments during daring SEAL assault

Getting Osama bin Laden: How the mission went down

Osama bin Laden raid yields trove of computer data

Mike Allen
"Mike Allen is the chief White House correspondent forPolitico. He comes to us from Time magazine where he was their White House correspondent. Prior to that, Allen spent six years at The Washington Post, where he covered President Bush's first term, Capitol Hill, campaign finance, and the Bush, Gore and Bradley campaigns of 2000. Before turning to national politics, he covered schools and local governments in rural counties outside Fredericksburg, Va., for The Free Lance-Star, then wrote about Doug Wilder, Oliver North, Chuck Robb and the Bobbitts for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where he nurtured police sources on overnight ride-alongs through housing projects. Allen also covered Mayor Giuliani, the Connecticut statehouse and the wacky rich of Greenwich for The New York Times. Before moving to The Times, he did stints in the Richmond and Alexandria bureaus of The Washington Post. Allen grew up in Orange County, Calif., and has a B.A. from Washington and Lee University, where he majored in politics and journalism."