Below is the link to an article that talks about how churches across the country are seeing suspicious activities It reminds us just how far ahead of the curve we are and that we must continue to always be on guard.
St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, California had a long standing tradition of mothers and infant children walking outside the church during services so the infants would not disturb the divine liturgy. That has been halted due to several unidentified men driving by their church yelling “Allah Akbar!” at the mothers and their infants. The pastor at Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California, which is one of the biggest churches in that area advised his congregation that they had received a threat written in Arabic. This article also talks about incidents that we brought to your attention, the Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Bullard, Texas where an Islamic man in camouflage and assault gear walked into a church threating to shoot Christians and “other infidels” and the Dearborn Heights, Michigan where the subject was getting ready to shoot up a major church because he wanted to be famous and doing his own jihad at a church would get him on the news.
This article continues with Ryan Mauro, a professor of Homeland Security at Liberty University and a national security analysis for the Clarion Project stating “If you are an Islamist terrorist seeking self-glory, executing a priest will bring you more attention that executing an average civilian.” Multiply that with what almost happened in Bellevue. What frightens me is that no one and I mean no one is talking about the incident that happened at Bellevue Baptist Church on Easter Sunday. You may get tired of me harping on this case but here we have an actual situation that if a safety team had not been in place and through their training an observant greeter had not done their job we would have had a mass shooting at a large church in the United States. And to make it even worse it would have been perpetrated on the most holiest day of the Christian religion. Think about it, if that had played through it would have been the church’s 9-11.
An incident like this, would have shook the core of church’s congregations around the country. Members and visitors have a reasonable expectation of being safe when they come to your church. If that were all the sudden challenged with an unthinkable event like the one that almost happened at Bellevue Baptist Church, would our churches rise to the occasion as churches in the Apostolic Age or would they close their doors? Would the churches have the knee jerk reaction to hire security guards with black tactical vest on and have its congregation go through metal detectors or receive the “Holy Ghost pat down” before they were able to enter the building? Think about what it would do to our freedom to come and go in peace at our churches. Religion is sometimes such a fragile belief, thinking that God would allow something like that happen. People would assume churches are not and cause so many to walk away and doubt our loving Father.
As I read this article I see that you, this group, is way ahead of the curve on keeping our churches safe just because you are either talking about it, looking into it or have one in place. I think one of things that keeps surprising me is that we are aware of what is happing in this fallen world and we are only stronger because of us sharing information. The suspicious incident that happened at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in July where five black males showed up at offering time would have not been shared if it had not been for what we are doing with the networking group. If it has not been for the incredible work of Monica Lamar and her Safety Team, We would not have known about this. This is why we must continue to meet and share information. We are watchmen/watchwomen of our churches and understand the need for safety teams, We are the front lines in protecting our churches and make sure We understand that God has placed you in that position. We did not choose this, He saw the talent in all of you and has put it into play for the safety and protection of His flock, His Bride the church and the expansion of His kingdom. We need to continue to put up the good fight, providing the security (yes I said security) for our churches so they can continue to allow all members and visitors come and go with the freedom that this great country has provided for us all.
Jim has many years of law enforcement experience and has run the safety team at his church for several years. TSA was formed after he realized God's calling when multiple churches reached out and asked him to present at their church.