Church Security


It is a sad state of affairs when Churches today have to even think about “security” at their places of worship.  Churches used to be thought of safe, sacred places that you could go to and your safety was all but guaranteed.  Unfortunately that’s not the case anymore.  We are not just talking about a medical emergency in the sanctuary, children’s wing, or an occasional random act of vandalism outside the walls of your church.  I am talking about true, up close and personal violence.

Violence that has steadily increased over the years doesn’t show any signs of slowing down as places of worship are seen as easy “soft” targets.  Due to the fact society as we know it is in a state of decay, our Churches have become prey for the wicked, and our churches must be defended and safeguarded.  Here are a few facts to prove my point.

Total deadly force incident stats by year
Year Total deaths (Homicide, suicide, unsolved suspicious and aggressors killed in action) Total Incidents
1999 22 10
2000 9 6
2001 4 6
2002 11 9
2003 12 9
2004 3 4
2005 19 10
2006 30 27
2007 39 41
2008 50 64
2009 54 108
2010 51 102
2011 51 107
2012 76 139
2013 45 132
2014 74 176
2015 40 96


Denominational affiliation (some DFI’s affected more than 1 site — i.e. 7/2/2009, 10/29/2010) Number of incidents Percentage
Baptist 237 22.5%
Non-denominational (includes those of unknown affiliation) 219 20.8%
Catholic 150 14.3%
Methodist 77 7.3%
Lutheran 43 4.1%
Presbyterian 34 3.2%
Parachurch organizations 32 3.0%
Church of God / COGIC 26 2.5%
Mormon (LDS) 27 2.6%
Episcopal 25 2.4%
Church of Christ 23 2.2%
Christian Church (the denomination) 17 1.6%
Pentecostal 17 1.6%
Jewish 19 1.8%
Islamic 15 1.4%
Foreign Ethnic houses of Worship in U.S. 13 1.2%
Christian Orthodox (Including Greek and others) 12 1.1%
Assembly of God 12 1.1%
Nazarene 9 0.9%
7th Day Adventist 5 0.5%
Unitarian 5 0.5%
Jehovah’s Witness 4 0.4%
Foursquare 4 0.4%
Evangelical Free 3 0.3%
Buddhist 3 0.3%
Scientology 1 0.1%
Other 15 1.4%


Above Stats from Carl Chinn


Other Stats from 1999-2010 via Front Sight Firearms Training Institute.

February 14, 2010 – Richmond, California – Three hooded men
walk into Gethsemane Church of God in Christ and opened
fire and then fled the scene, as the singing of the choir
was replaced by frightened screams. The two victims, a 14-
year-old boy and a 19-year-old man, were hospitalized.

March 8, 2009 – Maryville, Illinois – Suspect Terry Joe
Sedlacek, 27, of Troy, walks into the First Baptist Church,
and shoots pastor Fred Winters dead, point blank. Several
church members are injured by a knife in the struggle to
capture the suspect after the attack; the suspect also had stabbed
himself, but survived, when his gun jams.

July 27, 2008 – Knoxville, Tennessee – A gunman opens fire
in a church during a youth performance, killing two people
and injuring seven.

Dec. 9, 2007 – Colorado – Four people are killed and five
wounded in two shooting rampages, two at a missionary
school in suburban Denver and two at New Life Church in Colorado
Springs. The gunman in the second incident is killed by a Church Security

May 20, 2007 – Moscow, Idaho – A standoff between police
and a suspect in the shootings of three people in a
Presbyterian Church ended with three dead, including one
police officer.

Aug. 12, 2007 – Neosho, Missouri – First Congregational
Church – 3 killed – Eiken Elam Saimon shot and killed the
pastor and two deacons and wounded five others.

May 21, 2006 – Baton Rouge, Louisiana – The Ministry of
Jesus Christ Church – 4 killed – The four at the church who
were shot were members of Erica Bell’s family; she was
abducted and murdered elsewhere; Bell’s mother, church
pastor Claudia Brown, was seriously wounded – Anthony Bell,
25, was the shooter.

Feb. 26, 2006 – Detroit, Michigan – Zion Hope Missionary
Baptist Church – 2 killed + shooter – Kevin L. Collins, who
reportedly went to the church looking for his girlfriend,
later killed himself.

April 9, 2005 – College Park, Georgia – A 27-year-old
airman died after being shot at a church, where he had once
worked as a security guard.

March 12, 2005 – Brookfield, Wisconsin – Living Church of
God – 7 killed + shooter – Terry Ratzmann opened fire on
the congregation, killing seven and wounding four before
taking his own life.

July 30, 2005 – College Park, Georgia – World Changers
Church International – shooter killed – Air Force Staff
Sgt. John Givens was shot five times by a police officer
after charging the officer, following violent behavior.

Dec. 17, 2004, Garden Grove, Calif.: A veteran musician at
the Crystal Cathedral shoots himself to death after a nine
-hour standoff.

Oct. 5, 2003 – Atlanta, Georgia – Turner Monumental AME
Church – 2 killed + shooter – Shelia Wilson walked into the
church while preparations are being made for service and
shot the pastor, her mother and then herself.

June 10, 2002 – Conception, Missouri – Benedictine
monastery – 2 killed + shooter – Lloyd Robert Jeffress shot
four monks in the monastery killing two and wounding two,
before killing himself.

March 12, 2002 – Lynbrook, New York – Our Lady of Peace
Catholic Church – 2 killed – Peter Troy, a former mental
patient, opens fire during Mass, killing the priest and a
parishioner. He later receives a life sentence.

May 18, 2001 – Hopkinsville, Kentucky – Greater Oak
Missionary Baptist Church – 2 killed – Frederick Radford
stood up in the middle of a revival service and began
shooting at his estranged wife, Nicole Radford, killing her
and a woman trying to help her.

Sept. 15, 1999 – Fort Worth, Texas – Wedgewood Baptist
Church – 7 killed + shooter – Larry Gene Ashbrook shot dead
seven people and injured a further seven at a concert by
Christian rock group Forty Days in Fort Worth, Texas before
killing himself.

April 15, 1999 – Salt Lake City, Utah – LDS Church Family
History Library – 2 killed + shooter – Sergei Babarin, 70,
with a history of mental illness, entered the library,
killed two people and wounded four others before he was
gunned down by police.

What does the Bible say about security?  There are many verses but this is my favorite.

Nehemiah 4:17-19-  17Those who built on the wall, and those who carries burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other hand held a weapon.  18Everyone of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built.  And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me.

I believe the Lord has put certain people in certain places and times for certain reasons.  I accept this as true wholeheartedly and I believe I have been called to do just that (Isaiah 62:6 & Nehemia 4:17-19).  That is why ICS of Colorado has developed an Emergency Action Plan that can be personalized and implemented to fit any size church congregation.  Our emergency situation policy and procedure templates make the transition from planning to implementation smooth and cost effective.

Why we call it an Emergency Action Plan and not an Emergency Response Plan because we believe in pre-planning  when preparing for an size emergency event which is eventually inevitable, then having the ability to take action and provide the immediate response necessary to safely and efficiently care for, and protect, the church members and staff.  We provide the training and resources necessary for churches to immediately take action, whether big or small, with the implementation of pre planned steps to assure a positive outcome to whatever emergency presents itself.

Having emergency policies and procedures in place puts the safety and security of your congregation into a highly trained action plan.  Proper planning and training are essential for the immediate and proper response to any crisis.

Not only do we provide the proper policies and procedures, we help you develop and train your security or safety action team specific to your building or campus.  We also provide continued annual training to assure your action team is trained in the latest security and safety tactics, also assuring all policies and procedures are up to date and in accordance with all state and federal laws.

Some of the items your church and staff will benefit from:

  • Reduced liability insurance rates and premiums
  • Church Specific SOP/ Policy Manual
  • Initial security training for security team staff (Mental Awareness, Empty Hand Defense, Defensive Firearms, Active Shooter Scenario, CPR & First Aid, etc)
  • Reoccurring training for security team staff
  • Installation of a new or enhancing an existing security surveillance system
  • Control of all Access Points
  • Monitoring of the Childrens’ section of the Church
  • Parking lot operates smoothly and efficiently
  • All monetary offerings are controlled, transferred, and kept safe
  • Satisfaction of knowing “your flock” has a plan in place for when an emergency event arises
  • Defined roles and areas of responsibilities for all Church Security Members and Church Administrators

And much, much more…

Feel free to contact us anytime for a free no hassle confidential consultation.  See what ICS of Colorado can do for you and your church.  To learn more call us at 303-797-6789.

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