Sunday, July 31

Excuse Me, Is That Your Bag?

In the Washington, DC area the Metro train system has been running a campaign to heighten riders awareness of unattended and suspicious packages and bags. The theory behind the campaign is that if riders can encourage other riders to not leave their belongings behind then the amount of unattended packages would be decreased. 

The phrase "escuse me, is that your bag?" has been the theme of the campaign. I think the point of this campaign should be transferred to our places of worship. How often do you go into your church and see someone just drop a bag on a seat and walk away. I see two problems with people doing this that I would like to expand on. 

First, this creates an atmosphere for theft to occur within our facilities. Criminals know that this type of activity takes place at churches. In general people tend to have a false sense of security while attending places of worship. Criminals will exploit that false sense of security and use it as an opportunity to steal from those who have positioned themselves in a vulnerable spot. 

The second problem that I see with this is related to the potential threat of a hazardous device being left behind in the unattended bag. Those of you who are not in the law enforcement, military or security industry may read this and think that the threat is not real. I would argue that the exact opposite is true. Places of Worship serve as a target for multiple different types of crimes. Both domestic and international terrorism are both threats that should be considered within our congregations. Some churches pose a threat simply based on their size, while others may be focused on because of the content of what is being taught from the facility. 

I will expand on this more in other posts; however, I wanted to get you to start thinking about how your church handles unattended bags in their facility. Is this even a topic that you have thought about? Should your church take a more public approach to encourage goers to not leave their belongings behind?

Friday, July 29

Church Websites Hacked, Islamic Material Posted

From: WTOL

"A Perrysburg-based web company that serves dozens of Christian churches across the country was hacked earlier this week, with a message encouraging Christians to convert to Islam".

Full Story

Note: Does you church have an IT Security program?

Former Priest Sentenced for Stealing $200,000

From: Daily Record
"Suicidal and recovering from alcohol abuse, the former pastor of St. Therese Roman Catholic Church in Succasunna was sentenced today to five years in prison for stealing $200,000 from the parish".

Full Story

Sneak Peak of Security at Church New Logo

This is a sneak peak of our new logo!

Thursday, July 28

1 Teen Dead, Several Injured after Church Van Overturns

From: Daily Journal

WAVERLY, Tenn. — "A Middle Tennessee church van returning from a youth outing overturned on an Interstate 40 off-ramp Thursday morning about 55 miles west of Nashville, killing a teenage girl and injuring several others."

Full Story

Note: We need someone to start tracking how many church van accidents are occurring per year.

Previous Post on Van Safety:

Couple Commits Suicide Outside Florida Church

From: Miami New Times

​"Forty years ago, Patricia and Bruce Wright promised to love each other until death do them part at the Friendship United Methodist Church in Punta Gorda, Florida. In a tragic tale, the couple, who had most recently lived in Las Vegas, returned to the church on Sunday and killed themselves in what appears to be a suicide pact."

Full Story

Monday, July 18

A Pastors Involvement in Church Security

Sunday evening I observed a very interesting event at my local church that I felt could serve as a good learning tool for my readers. The church had a special meeting that allowed the congregation to interact with the pastoral staff. The format of the meeting was a question and answer session over a public microphone.

During this event there was one particular member of the audience that seemed to be sticking out more then normal. She had made her way up to the front row of the auditorium and sat in a reserved seating section that was designated for the hearing impaired (she was not hearing impaired). It was clear that she was not familiar with the normal format of the service because most regular attendees would have known that this area was specifically reserved. This was a mental note that she may not be a regular attendee to the church and perhaps may not have belonged at a meeting that was designed specifically regular attendees. I happened to be sitting in the same area, which allowed me to monitor the situation more closely. I observed over a period of time that she was making abnormal gestures, (rocking back and forth, looks of frustration, lack of awareness to surroundings, ect) all the classic signs that something "was just not right". When there was an opportunity to speak, she quickly jumped to her feat and was attempting to relocate herself into a position that she would be able to get the attention of the person controlling the microphone. 

I notified our security team of the situation. One member of the team even relocated his position to better assist the situation. As predicted once the woman received the microphone she refused to stop talking. At one point she approach the podium in an aggressive manner and walked up onto the stage. This is where the title of my post comes in... "A Pastors Involvement in Church Security". Like most well trained security teams our security team reactive instinctively. They began to close in on the lady from opposing sides. At that moment the pastor took verbal control of the situation. It reminded me of a "Verbal Judo" class that I took in the police academy. The pastor was able to take control in a professional manner, de-escalating the situation all by the words of his mouth. The security team was well positioned if the lady decided to not respond or if a weapon presented itself. 

I felt like this was a good learning tool for us to ask the question "are our pastors involved with our security team?". The pastor of this church understood the role of the security team, he knew what they were going to do and when they were going to do it, he also understood his role as the leader of the church. He wanted to first show love before he showed force. Many pastors man not know how to respond in a situation like the one described. It is important to train and role play with your church leadership so they understand how to handle a similar situation. 

It is common for protesters or simply a congregational member who disagrees, to voice that disagreement during a sermon or message. The solution is not alway for the security team to act, but rather for the security team to be ready to act and for the leadership of the church to attempt to de-escilate the problem. 

Saturday, July 16

Crime Stoppers: Stolen Church Air Conditioners

From: KTTS

CRIME STOPPERS and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office are asking for help identifying suspects involved in a string of AC thefts.

The crimes occurred at the Center Baptist Church near Ash Grove. A total of 14 air conditioners have been stolen from the church in the past eight months.

In addition to the reward money offered by Crime Stoppers, the church has raised $2,500 for tips resulting in the filing of charges.

Click for Full Article

Crime Stoppers: Springfield Church Vandalism


Crime Stoppers and the Springfield Police Department are asking for help from the public in identifying suspects involved in a church vandalism.

The crime was reported on June 20 at Asbury United Methodist Church, 1500 S. Campbell Ave., where church staff discovered a large amount of graffiti on two Dumpsters, a fence and a church van.

Please call Crime Stoppers at 869-8477 or go to

Click for full Article

Sunday, July 10

Local Police and Your Church


"St. Peters police are starting a sort of neighborhood watch program to help houses of worship deal with crime.

Officer Melissa Doss plans a session July 16 to educate religious leaders on security procedures that could help them prevent theft, violence, embezzlement and other crimes. She said churches and other religious centers often are considered soft targets for criminals."

Read more:

More and more local jurisdictions are seeing the need to help local churches cut down crime. A free and easy way to help out your church congregation is to contact your local police department and see if their community outreach office has any programs that can help your church increase their security awareness. Often police departments will be willing to do a free security survey of your facility or offer training to your staff. 

Profession security specialist are always available for a more detailed assessment of your facility; however, your local police department may be a good first place to start!

New Website Update

I wanted to give my readers a quick update on the status of the new website. This is going to continue to be a long process; however, I am really happy with some of the changes that I have seen. The website will include a new more professional look, easier navigation, new logo and more! If you have any recommendations please feel free to email me!

Thanks for continuing to support this website and blog!