By Mike George, submitted to Bluebonnet News
They came from churches in Liberty, Hardin, Harris, Chambers and other counties to First Baptist Church in Dayton, Texas, to learn about church security and how it could be applied to their own churches.
On Saturday, Feb. 29, a church security training seminar was held at FBC Dayton to assess, develop, train and implement critical incident management plans at those churches represented by the more than 100 in attendance.
The seminar was led by Harvey Letcher and Mike Gurley from Teamworks Consulting, Inc. out of Dallas. The two are licensed security consultants and work in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas, however their expertise and training are not just limited to Baptist churches.
The two consultants covered all aspects of church security and were quite astute in pointing out many erroneous assumptions people have about church security.
Gurley first pointed out that only four church shootings have happened in the state of Texas since 1980.
“Yet when it comes to church security most people concentrate and train on the thing that is least likely to happen – church shootings,” said Gurley. “Weather is the most likely issue to affect your church.”
The two men explained several different aspects related to church security: levels of protection, prevention, minimizing impact, gathering intelligence, containment and isolation, as well as other elements were explained.
“Most security issues are also ministry opportunities,” explained Gurley, meaning that there is always an opportunity to witness when problems arise.
The overall message delivered by Letcher and Gurley was that church security is not a quick fix, but a never ending process of training with self evaluation and assessment. Both agreed that the first step by any church that is able in establishing church security was to hire a uniformed police officer to be on campus during services.
FBC Dayton is already planning to have the two consultants back in about three months with some additional, more hands on training to improve everyone’s level of security.