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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, I just wanted to say thank you all for all the good information that is provided on this site. I have enjoyed reading through it.

I need some help from you. Here in Missouri, we are required to talk to the pastor of our church before we are allowed to carry. I have been carrying everywhere for a while except for church since I really didn't want to deal with the hassle of talking with the pastor about it. :boese51: However, after reading through a lot of these threads, I've changed my mind about not approaching him to talk about it. I just want to make sure I approach it the best way I can.

Unfortunately, I don't know where he stands on guns but in general, our congregation is conservative and gun friendly. We don't have a security team that I know of.

For those of you out there that have brought it up with your leadership, how did you go about it? Even if you haven't and just carry to church anyway, do you have any suggestions? Do you throw stats at them, keep it simple and just ask, etc? I would rather be above board and ask him since we are friends.

Thanks for your help

Steve
 

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Maybe this will help -

Church shootings:
• May 31: A 51-year-old man shot and killed well-known abortion doctor George Tiller while Tiller served as an usher
• March 8, 2009 – Maryville, Illinois – First Baptist Church – 1 killed - Terry Sedlacek shot Pastor Fred Winters and when his gun jammed, tried to stabbed himself and two men who tried to subdue him.
• January 10, 2009 – Henrico, Virginia - First Free Will Baptist Church – 1 stabbed - Rev. James Bullock was in the church alone about 8:15 a.m. when two men came in and demanded money. Bullock was beaten and stabbed twice after he told the men there was no safe in the church.
• December 24, 2008 – College Park, Maryland - Holy Redeemer Catholic Church – 1 injured - Shanon Washington beat and mugged Wayne Williams in the parking lot of the church. Washington is charged with attempted murder, assault and robbery in the attack.
• December 21, 2008 – Henderson, Texas - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – An armed gunman fires a shot outside the church, then came inside and demanded everyone’s wallet.
• November 23, 2008 -Clifton, New Jersey- St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church – 2 killed, 1 injured - Joseph Pallipurath killed his wife and one unrelated man and injured a third person. After his capture, he said that he would have killed all the worshipers if he had had a machine gun.
• July 28, 2008 – Knoxville, Tennessee - Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church – 2 killed, 6 injured--Jim D. Adkisson pulled a 12-guage shotgun from a guitar case and killed 2, injured 6.
• June 24, 2008 – Lanham, Maryland – Two armed gunmen, Alozie Chinagozim Onuoha and Ugo Onuoha burst into the church business office on a Monday and demanded money. They escaped with thousands of dollars but were later arrested. At the time of the robbery, there were dozens of children attending a church summer camp at the facility.
• Dec. 9, 2007: A 24-year-old gunman opened fire at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. Two people were killed, and four were wounded. An armed church security volunteer wounded the gunman before he turned the gun on himself.
• October 18, 2007 – Rocky Mount North Carolina - Debbie Kornegay was stabbed to death in the Lakeside Baptist Church kitchen by Tommy Lee Holiday, a homeless man that Debbie and Eve Beasley (also wounded) were trying to help.
• August 12, 2007 - Neosho, Missouri - First Congregational Church - 3 killed, 5 injured - Eiken Elam Saimon shot and killed the pastor and two deacons and wounded five others.
• January 28, 2007 – Columbus, Ohio - Christ the King Church - Wendell Hollingsworth and Celeste Smith barged into the church with a gun, and announced, "This is a robbery." Smith began to grab purses while the Hollingsworth demanded wallets at gunpoint. The congregation didn't let them get away, as ushers tackled the pair and held them until police arrived.
• October 19, 2006 – Chicago, Illinois – Israel of God’s Church – Two armed gunmen entered the church during evening services, forced everyone at gunpoint to the front of the church. After firing a shot in the air, demanded money and valuables and then fled the scene.
• 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.
• February 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.
• August 29, 2005 – Sash, Texas - Sash Assembly of God Church – 4 killed + shooter --A.P. Crenshaw who lived across the street from the Sash Assembly of God church, exchanged words in the church parking lot with a church member who asked Crenshaw to leave. Crenshaw returned a short time later and the church member, at close range, and then shot Pastor, James Armstrong. Crenshaw then drove to an intersection, where he shot and killed the two women in a truck after they tried to flee and hide. Crenshaw was reported to have been hunting on foot for the Pastor’s wife. A 10-member SWAT team made two attempts to enter Crenshaw's house but retreated when he shot at them, Moore said. Police finally entered the house to find Crenshaw dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to head.
• March 12, 2005 - Brookfield, Wisconsin - Living Church of God - 7 killed + shooter - Terry Ratzmann opened fire on the congregation, killing seven, including Pastor Randy L. Gregory and his son James Gregory, 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.
• December 18, 2004 – Garden Grove, California, Crystal Cathedral— The longtime conductor of the Crystal Cathedral Orchestra, Johnny Carl, kills himself at the cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif., after an argument with another employee and 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.
 

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Take a copy of the above post from mkh and start the conversation with sharing that info...then go from there.
That ought to help.:yup:
 

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I think it would be important to share WHY you want to carry. Not just ask if it's ok. He may relate to any sentiments you share.
 

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one could ask if the church had a security team......that would break the ice... and then you could mentioned that CCW..
 

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Maybe you should volunteer to put the security team together...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Those are some great examples mkh on why we need to start thinking about these types of things. It is a great church with great people, I just don't think we as a congregation think a lot about those types of scenarios. When I was going through the classes for becoming a deacon several years ago, we were told one of our duties was the physical setting of the service. Because of this, I feel a need to at least address it with the pastors. And I absolutely agree with you pkon about giving reasons, not just asking if it is 'ok'.

Thanks again for your guys' suggestions. I will let you know how it goes this weekend.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Maybe you should volunteer to put the security team together...
I have certainly thought about that route as well....
Almost afraid it will be too much at once. He could say anything from "Absolutely, carry" to "Let me think about it" to "Don't even bring that up"

We are big enough though that it wouldn't hurt.
 

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Those are some great examples mkh on why we need to start thinking about these types of things. It is a great church with great people, I just don't think we as a congregation think a lot about those types of scenarios. When I was going through the classes for becoming a deacon several years ago, we were told one of our duties was the physical setting of the service. Because of this, I feel a need to at least address it with the pastors. And I absolutely agree with you pkon about giving reasons, not just asking if it is 'ok'.

Thanks again for your guys' suggestions. I will let you know how it goes this weekend.

Steve


sounds like a plan to look into....... keep us informed.
 

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I have certainly thought about that route as well....
Almost afraid it will be too much at once. He could say anything from "Absolutely, carry" to "Let me think about it" to "Don't even bring that up"

We are big enough though that it wouldn't hurt.
I know of about 14 people in the church who have their CCW. I carry at church and I know one other does but I'm not sure about the rest. We also have one Police officer and one State Trooper.

My approach is to train parking crews, greeters and ushers on what to look out for. Then organize/train a core group that gets notified if something is out of the ordinary.

I also think we need a chain of escalation in the event something happens. I don't want everyone trying to handle the situation - chaos would ensue.

Training a core group of 8 - 10 that actually deals with the situation and training the ushers, greeters and parking crew to be their eyes and ears seems to be the best approach to me.

Let us know how it goes. I also have lots of other resources if it goes that far.
 

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I would tend to think a Church may have huge liability concerns with a sanctioned volunteer (armed) security team. I noticed one of the large churches in my neighborhood used to have members escort people across the street from an adjacent parking lot. Now they use an off duty City Police Officer. I see him patrolling the grounds on sundays and wednesdays. Once the insurance folks get involved these issues can evolve.
 

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As a pastor, I would say your best bet, until you know his stance, is to ask him if there had been any thought about putting together a security and safety team. They would deal with everything from how to respond to a fire, tornado, child custody dispute on church grounds, to active shooter, etc. You might even add something along the lines of, "With all that's going on in our world, I am concerned for your safety, as well as the safety of the rest of the congregation."

See what he says. Once you get some idea about where he stands, you might be able to talk further, even take him to the range.

If he is interested, you are on your way. If not, you can do what you're doing now-not carrying.

ETA: Your denomination/affiliation may make a huge difference in the likelihood of his response. Some more liberal denominations would probably have a hissy fit (like mine, for instance), if they knew. Others, not as much.
 

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I would tend to think a Church may have huge liability concerns with a sanctioned volunteer (armed) security team. I noticed one of the large churches in my neighborhood used to have members escort people across the street from an adjacent parking lot. Now they use an off duty City Police Officer. I see him patrolling the grounds on sundays and wednesdays. Once the insurance folks get involved these issues can evolve.
You are right tha insurance companies can thrrow a monkey wrench into just about anything.

The idea is not to have an armed security team but a security teamed that just happens to have CCWs.
 

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I would just like to add that once you bring it up, if he reacts in any way that is less than enthusiastic about it, I would put emphasis on you desiring to do this legally and that you won't be carrying if he says no. In my experience with a few people that are definitely anti, once the subject of firearms comes up it can be easy for them to assume that "no matter what, you'll have a gun". And in case he happens to not be familiar with it, I'd bring a copy of your state's statute that says you need his permission to carry in the church. Definitely no harm by having a few extra pieces of paper ready if he wants more info :)
 

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Yup, even the Chief of Police I know had to ask.

Make sure you explain any training you've had. If he says no, you could always take a Sunday or two to explore other churches.
 

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I'd say work it in easy to guage his reaction. Maybe in addition to talking about forming a security team, you could ask him what he thinks of the people carrying at the recent town hall meetings.

Just a thought. If he is interested in knowing a pastor's perspective, feel free to send him my way.
 

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I am a pastor in Missouri. My church has a security team and I carry as well. My suggestion is to talk to him like he is a human being with common sense and reason. More than likely he will favor having a security team. He may not know that it is legal for people to carry in church with his permission (in Missouri).

As far as insurance liability, it is not true that your church will only be free of liability if you take no security measures. You should get rid of your fire extinguishers if you believe that. If something happens, your insurance will have to kick in one way or the other.

The big thing to me is that members do not see guns. A lot of people are scared of guns. I would say is that if someone carried without permission, I would only be upset if they brandished their weapon and caused alarm. Otherwise, out of sight, out of mind.

If he tells you that you may not carry, explain to him your unwillingness to worship in a church where you are not protected. Don't just leave without giving him the opportunity to reconsider his position. You may end up saving lives.
 

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I would tend to think a Church may have huge liability concerns with a sanctioned volunteer (armed) security team. I noticed one of the large churches in my neighborhood used to have members escort people across the street from an adjacent parking lot. Now they use an off duty City Police Officer. I see him patrolling the grounds on sundays and wednesdays. Once the insurance folks get involved these issues can evolve.
We are trying to increase security at our church by creating a security team, but the insurance company wants to increase our rates greatly if we authorize or allow anyone to carry. We have not been able to find a solution that we can(or will) afford, yet.
 
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