WEST MONROE, LA (01/05/20)– In light of a church shooting that happened just a week ago in White Settlement, Texas, local churches are reminded of the importance of security.
“While obviously it’s a place of worship, but we’re not immune to the danger out there in the world,” said Jeffrey Kent, Administrative Pastor at Christ Church.
Christ Church, in West Monroe, says their security team meets and discusses their security plans frequently. The recent tragedy in Texas has heightened their awareness.
“We don’t want to be reactionary, we want to be proactive. Our hope and prayer is obviously that nothing would happen here but you need to be prepared,” said Kent.
It can be difficult to find a balance between how much security presence is needed and still maintaining the comfort and attention of a church service.
“We don’t want the experience, like security, for people to feel like they are walking into a bank,” said Kent.
Christ Church says the congregation has to be protected. The church has a large security team. Including off duty officers, uniformed officers, and volunteers. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
“Our officers and security personnel are monitoring the doors, the parking lots, and the cameras. They are just looking for something that may look out of the norm. Somebody loitering, somebody bringing in a large backpack or something like that. These are things we just have to be aware of,” said Kent.
Not only does the church want to protect its people, but they say it’s a calling from God.
“Our job here is to Sheppard people. Protecting them mentally, spiritually, emotionally, but also physically, is important to us. We take people’s safety and security of absolute utmost importance,” said Kent.
The sad truth is it doesn’t matter the size of your church or the denomination, officials say all churches need to be prepared in case the worst happens.