WAYNESBORO, GA (WJBF) – It’s been three weeks since the mass church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas that left 26 people dead and dozens injured. Now, a local sheriff’s office is working with churches to make sure congregations are protected. The meeting today was a chance for church pastors and members to learn about security.
A spokesperson for the Burke County Sheriffs Office says preventative action is key. Today, they showed local church leaders what to do if something terrible ever happens. Monday was a chance for church leaders to learn how to keep their congregations safe.
Most people don’t bring fireworks to church, if you hear something such as that you need to get out of the place as quickly as possible or be prepared,” said Chief Lewis Blanchard of The Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
“There’s no price of life you can’t replace that, once it’s gone its gone,” said James Jones, member of Phillip Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
Local church members say it’s a good time to focus on security.
“It something i think we need you know honestly looking at the way the world is in Sutherland Springs Texas and things like that, that we’re seeing more and more of a need for that,” said Nick Bates, member of Sardis Baptist Church.
“And you wanna do everything possible to ensure safety, ensure everybody comes and worships, have a good time and praise the lord and go home the way they came,” said James Jones, member of Phillip Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
Deputies talked to the church leaders about the need for security in every church. And, they say, learning to use a firearm is just as important.
“If you’re going to carry a firearm, the law might not require it in Georgia that you be trained but you should train and you should train often and you should be prepared,” said Chief Lewis Blanchard of The Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s you hope that you never need it, but you have it in case you do.. It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it,” said James Jones, member of Phillip Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
The sheriffs office recommends that if you are a pastor or church member, that is not trained to carry a firearm; you can either hire an outside agency or contact your local sheriff’s office and hire them as your security during service hours.