- WND - http://www.wnd.com -

'Every church needs a security protocol'

It’s no longer up for debate. In the wake of the horrific massacre at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, it is clear Christianity is under attack in the United States of America.

Believers are under threat even – maybe especially – in their places of worship. And one pastor argues it is time for congregations to start taking their security very seriously.

Carl Gallups, a former law enforcement officer and the pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, Florida, believes the culture has become dangerous for Christians. He’s outlined a plan for Christians to develop a “security ministry” in his book “Be Thou Prepared.”

Gallups argues the subject of a security ministry is no longer something a congregation can ignore.

“Every church can and should have a security protocol,” he said. “Our world, and even the American culture, is a very different place than it was just a decade ago.”

Gallups, in an interview with WND, outlined a basic system that can be adopted by any congregation.

“The particular plan would, of course, have to match the size, location and specific concerns of each church,” he explained. “However, even the smallest of congregations can at least have roving volunteers during the times that people are on the premises for church events.”

He said the rovers “would be used to keep watch on the outside of the church, checking the security of entry points, keeping an eye on the parking lot, and making certain that main entry points into the sanctuary and other large group gatherings are diligently monitored.”

“Something as simple as this basic system can act as a potential deterrent to an assault upon a congregation, but also could possibly serve to prevent a large-scale massacre scenario,” he said.

The former police officer also noted churches can make even advanced preparations, often at a minimal cost.

“There are several professional organizations that can do security assessments for churches and can provide extensive training for church security volunteers,” he said.

“Some police departments and sheriff’s offices provide this kind of assessment and training as well. Many larger law enforcement agencies will provide, usually for a reasonable fee, a uniformed officer in a marked car to be placed in a strategic location on church property during worship service hours.”

He said churches can easily set up panic alarms for children and youth ministry areas, and video surveillance systems are now easy to obtain and set up.

“Volunteers can sit at a computer screen and monitor the entire church facility, inside and outside, while the majority are going about their regular worship and service activities,” he said. “Others can be used to do foot patrols or slow roving vehicle patrols around the church facilities and grounds. With today’s ubiquitous cell phone use, instant communication is no longer a problem.”

Such preparations may become commonplace if Christians begin facing further attacks of this kind. Reports indicate shooter Devin Patrick Kelley was an atheist who was described as “creepy,” “crazy” and “weird” by former classmates. Gallups suggested believers have not seen the last of such assaults.

Things are falling apart. Terror could strike anywhere. Are you and your family ready? “Be Thou Prepared” by Carl Gallups, available now in the WND Superstore.

“The latest available information currently being reported suggests the killer was an emotionally deranged individual who publicly identified as an atheist, one who was particularly antagonistic to the concept of church,” the pastor observed.

“Of course, I pray we see fewer of these kind of attacks, but my understanding of the prophetic time we are in, as interpreted through God’s Word, leads me to believe that churches must be more proactive and vigilant than ever in matters of church security.”

Gallups found it especially disturbing how many leftists took the opportunity to push gun control.

He suggested this was especially ironic because the massacre was halted when Stephen Willeford, armed with a gun, confronted the murderer. Kelley was then pursued in a high-speed chase, only to be found dead after his car was run off the road.

“Hypocrisy from the leftist gun-grabbers always abounds during tragedies of this nature,” Gallups said. “They ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’ in order to further their communistic-leaning agendas, and especially their rabidly held belief that law-abiding American citizens be disarmed. Rational citizens know the better arguments which support the free exercise of our Second Amendment rights.

“Once again, in the tragic case of Sutherland Springs, Texas, not a single new gun legislation effort could have averted the criminal intent of this insane individual. To disarm lawful citizens will only lead to an increase in attacks upon the innocent. Yet again, in this case, we saw a good guy with a gun intervene against the bad guy – and prevent a wholesale slaughter.”

Gallups cautioned Christians can never assure themselves they are totally safe, regardless of their preparations. But he urged believers to regard what happened in Texas as a wake-up call. More importantly, he suggested Christians have an obligation as believers to do what is necessary to safeguard their congregations.

“There is no way to provide a 100 percent guarantee that a church would never be victimized by someone determined to inflict a massive assault upon them,” he told WND. “But, to take no action, to make no plans of protection, to simply do nothing and ‘hope and pray’ nothing happens, is taking a huge risk in today’s world. The Bible is clear on the matter: ‘A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.’ (Proverbs 22:3)

“By executing a reasonable and adequate plan of action, a church can at least make certain that they don’t fall into the sitting duck syndrome. The leaders of today’s churches have a biblical, moral and logical responsibility to provide some kind of reasonable expectation of safety while their congregants are gathered at church events. Even several civil lawsuit court proceedings have made the same determination.

“In most states, it is entirely legal for citizens to be appropriately armed on the church property. The important thing is to start making preparations now – because we are indeed in prophetic times.”

Things are falling apart. Terror could strike anywhere. Are you and your family ready? “Be Thou Prepared” by Carl Gallups, available now in the WND Superstore.