Church safety has become a priority for many congregations across the country. Last weekend, a group called Peacekeepers trained church groups in safety and security in Southern Missouri.
“This was an open-enrollment class, which meant we had different congregations represented here together,” Roger Moore of Peacekeepers told television stations KY3 in Springfield. “These people take three stages of classes, and today was the third stage I have a strong desire to protect other people. As a security team, it is a way of ministry for me to be able to serve, and so that’s what we do here.”
Church security members all throughout southwest Missouri attend these sessions through Peacekeepers.
“In your business or your home, security is always a concern no matter what,” Moore said. “Our job is to protect the assets of the church, and the biggest asset is the people. We also want to protect the church from harm from other sources as well.”
Moore explained that most of the church security team members come back regularly for more training. “Almost all of the churches that we train with come back in three months on a reoccurring-type basis so that they do and service and then their own teams do training as well,” he said.
The more common events to happen at churches are vandalism, theft and domestic instances, Moore said.
“The more frequent things are low-level, like vandalism,” he said. “That happens more often than that in these types of events, but doesn’t have the devastating effect of like a violent intruder or an armed violent intruder.”
Although intruder situations do not happen often, according to Moore, it is always better to be prepared, because more lives can be saved.
“They don’t happen that often, but when they do, they are devastating,” he said. “We have to put our training time in to some of those scenarios even though they don’t happen that often, because you won’t get a chance to go back practice for it if it were to.”
In 2020, hundreds of churches and synagogues across the nation became the target of arson and vandalism by the terrorist group Antifa and some BLM protests.
In November 2020, a group of more than 100 black-clad rioters vandalized a Catholic church in Portland, Oregon, that regularly serves meals and provides shelter to the homeless, forcing the church to suspend worship services and all of its outreach to the needy.
St. Andre Bassette Church in downtown Portland, which is known for helping disadvantaged people in the area, suffered extensive damage after the violent attack Wednesday, The Post Millennial reported.
Three of the church’s front windows were smashed, after which all of its hospitality services had to be suspended, the news site said, adding that the National Guard had to be called in to control the rioters.
“Surveillance video shows a crowd of protesters, all wearing black, march past Saint Andre Bessette Church on West Burnside Street when one person rushes up to a door and repeatedly hits the glass with what appears to be a hammer,” KOIN 6 reported.
The incidents have forced congregations to reconsider their security measures.
More information about the training is available at www.peacekeepertraining.com.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice