Church members get trained to protect their congregation

SOUTH MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — “They want churches to remain opening and inviting but times are changing, you know, our methods have to change a little bit to keep everybody, especially the innocent ones, protected,” said Marty Clements, a firearms instructor.

With crime reported at churches around the world, many West Tennessee congregations have decided to take control of their safety, by putting together a member based church security team.

“We now need to defend those areas because we don’t want something like that to happen here in West Tennesee,” said Drew Hemby, church security.

Hemby is among those attending this church security course, Saturday.  The course teaches situational awareness, gun safety, and how to react appropriately in an environment like a church, that is filled with people.

“You just can’t storm down the aisle and take care of business,” said John Lawrence, church security. “There’s certain ways you have to go about it.”

Participants in the course said, they want to keep their church and their members from being vulnerable to a potential attack.

“Unfortunately in the past, there have been several churches that say, ‘Oh no. This will never happen.’ but, you know, soft targets get hit quit easily,” said Clements.

Participants in the training today say they hope they never have to use it in a real life situation, but say, there’s no such thing as being too prepared.

“It would just be something that would make all of our churches more secure from anything that might possibly happen,” said Hemby, “which we hope nothing ever will obviously.”

If you are interested in attending a security training or gun safety course, you can visit the Tennessee Sport Foundation website for more information.

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