Protecting Churches from ViolenceFound 18 stories for this story collection.
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Churches ramp up background checks to ensure safetyNASHVILLE (BP) -- As churches become aware of potential safety issues, more are signing up for background check services through LifeWay Christian Resources' OneSource program.
"The numbers have increased dramatically since we began our relationship with backgroundchecks.com," said LifeWay's Jennie Morris. "On average, we add 160 customers a month."
Since January 2009, more than 16,000 customers have conducted more than 320,000 screenings with backgroundchecks.com through the LifeWay OneSource program. In 2018, more than 1,800 new churches signed up for the program. Read More
'Lord protected us,' Baptist pastor says of gunmanVIDOR, Texas (BP) -- "The Lord protected us," a Texas pastor proclaimed after police arrested a masked gunman more than 250 miles away who cited the specific church as his destination.
"There is an overwhelming recognition that the Lord protected us and provided for us," Terry Wright of First Baptist Church in Vidor told Baptist Press today (Jan. 2).
Police in Seguin, Texas, 254 miles southwest of Vidor, contacted the pastor after arresting 33-year-old Tony Dwayne Albert II, whom police said was dressed in tactical style clothing, had a loaded gun and said he was headed to the church to fulfill an unspecified prophecy.
"We're very grateful that the man was caught," Wright told BP. "We also know that he needs help. He has some problems, evidently, and we ... pray for his well-being, that through this, somehow or another, there be a spiritual impact in his life. Read More
Church security draws 1,000-plus for training in Ky.FRANKFORT, Ky. (BP) -- Concern for church safety drew more than 1,000 leaders for training offered at the Kentucky Baptist Convention's Church Security Conference on March 24.
"While I grieve that a conference like this one is needed," KBC Executive Director Paul Chitwood said, "I'm thankful we could offer it.
"Headlines reveal that school children and churchgoers are the regular victims of deranged mass murders looking for high-profile targets that will get the world's ... Read More
Free church security training offered through May 1NASHVILLE (BP) -- As public shootings continue to make headlines, many churches are evaluating where their facilities stand on security. LifeWay Christian Resources is helping churches make safety a priority by providing free security training through its Ministry Grid platform.
"In light of current circumstances, we've offered this training to churches to make sure they're prepared for the unexpected before it happens," said Chandler Vannoy, brand manager for Ministry Grid. Read More
Security tightens at small churches after TX shootingEASTPOINTE, Mich. (BP) -- "Shell shocked." That's how Michigan pastor Mathew Vroman felt after learning of the Nov. 5 massacre at a small Sutherland Spring, Texas, church that left 26 worship attendees dead at the hands of a gunman.
So Vroman, pastor of Eastside Community Church in Eastpointe, Mich., joined the expanding cadre of small- and medium-sized-church leaders who are developing security plans in an effort to prevent armed attacks and other threats at their churches. Read More
Church security focus of Texas seminarsDALLAS (BP) -- With church security on the minds of many pastors and other church leaders in the wake of the tragedy at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, many churches of every size are re-evaluating their security protocols.
GuideStone Financial Resources and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company are offering two seminars in November for Texas churches interested in learning about implementing best practices for volunteer church safety and security teams. The events will also include training on protecting kids in the ministry environment ... Read More
Sutherland Springs community gathers to pray, healFLORESVILLE, Texas (BP) -- "We take care of our own," stated Frank S. Page, formerly a Texas pastor, as he and Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines and his wife Donna spent three days helping to serve families distraught over the Nov. 5 massacre of half of the congregation of First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.
The broader Southern Baptist family -- from the Gaineses to Tony Wolfe, pastor/church relations director for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention -- demonstrated servanthood by visiting grieving families, and injured congregants and praying for area folks suffering from the tragedy. Read More
Shootings don't stop churches, say Moore, past victimsSUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (BP) -- Church shootings like the massacre at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, will not intimidate the body of Christ, according to a Washington Post op-ed by Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore. Congregations that have experienced shootings are offering testimony to support his assertion.
"The goal the gunman sought, to terrorize worshipers, has been attempted constantly over the centuries around the world by cold, rational governments and terrorist groups -- all thinking that they could, by the trauma of violence, snuff out churches, or at least intimidate those churches into hiding from one another," Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, wrote in a Nov. 6 op-ed. Read More
So. Bapt. chaplains respond to hurting TX communitySUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (BP) -- "It's a pretty somber place," Scottie Stice said of the community left behind after Sunday's horrific mass shooting at a Southern Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Stice, disaster relief director for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), reported teams of Southern Baptist chaplains and other DR volunteers are ministering however they can among those devastated by the "senseless" tragedy. Read More
TX shooting: SBC leaders to visit grieving pastor, churchSUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (BP) -- Southern Baptists ministering in the wake of what some have called the deadliest church shooting in U.S. history say they've witnessed "God at work" despite the 26 dead and some 20 others wounded at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Local pastors and field personnel with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) began providing grief counseling within hours of the shooting at First Baptist's morning worship service Nov. 5. Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines and SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page plan to ... Read More