Area Church Reacts to Colorado Shootings

By: Forrest Sanders Email
By: Forrest Sanders Email

Area churches in Bowling Green have their doors wide open to anyone wanting to join a Sunday Worship Service. But a completely open facility can potentially lead to danger.

In the wake of two Colorado church shootings, some local church leads are examining the safety of their congregation.

"It makes you pause and say, 'Okay, what kind of security do we have in place and are we mindful of this?'" said Jason Pettus, Living Hope Baptist Church senior pastor.

Every Sunday at Living Hope Baptist Church, there's law enforcement in all three services.

"Of course, they're there as worshippers, but they're law enforcement, thinking like law enforcement and knowing what's going on," Pettus added.

In addition to that, there are two police officers handling parking congestion while also patrolling the area for any potential danger.

What's concerning Pettus is that leaders at New Life in Colorado Springs were also being mindful of an attack just before the Sunday shooting.

"Our church volunteer was stationed in the center of our rotunda yesterday because of the shooting in Denver," explained New Life Pastor Brady Boyd. "Because we took a lot of precautions, we saved a lot of lives yesterday."

Pettus added that while it's impossible to foresee an attack, what Living Hope's trying to do, is prepare themselves the best they can.

"We have a number of volunteers who are just security," Pettus explained. "They walk through the halls, they are contained in our children's areas, and they're hall monitors and they're there to make sure these people in the hallways and those people in the classrooms are supposed to be there."

Pettus also recommends a national background check for all volunteers. It's all helpful advice that he calls integral in keeping a safe church atmosphere.

"Simple things, being aware of who's in the facility and talking with one another," Pettus advised. "They need to communicate in different parts of the building so someone can always reach them."

Prior to Sunday's shootings, the New Life Church in Colorado Springs had several plain clothes security officers amidst the congregation and two police vehicles patrolling the church.


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