Greenville Churches Raising Security Awareness in Light of Charleston Shooting

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pastors across the country are re-evaluating the safety of their churches after a young man murdered eight church members and their pastor in Charleston, South Carolina.

Eve Rodgers, a pastor at New Dimensions Community Church says, “It causes you to re-evaluate the security measures you may have…or not…at your facility or church.”

Churches are opening and welcoming by nature, however that also makes them a target.

Local churches in Greenville said they have security that already exists and they want their churchgoers to know that they are there.

Koinonia Christian Center Chief Officer Veronica Grice said, “We already have a security detail in place and have had that for years just as a precaution because we live in a world full of evil.”

Another local pastor said that if you see someone new in your church community, reach out and get to know them.

“See someone we’re not familiar with, talk to them,” said Donald Harvey, facility manager at St. James United Methodist Church.

“Be friendly with them and find out who they are and how we can help them. Not what are you doing here, but how can we help you.”

With people of many walks of life attending churches, remember that if you see something suspicious, report it.

Pastors encourage their congregation to stay vigilant.

Veronica Grace also said, “We don’t want people to be afraid to come to church. Church is safe.”
The churches I spoke with said they plan to review their safety plans, but want their congregation to feel safe at their place of worship.

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