(WLNS) – Church services are supposed to be open and welcoming places.
But in the world we live in some measures of security are necessary, even right here at home.
6 News Jackson Bureau Reporter Genna Hilgenbrink went to churches around mid-Michigan to talk with pastors about how they keep their members and visitors safe.
It’s a problem you hope to never have, being in fear for your life while at church.
It’s the feeling those 12 innocent people had when a man opened fire inside a church in Charleston, South Carolina Wednesday night.
“I can’t imagine something like that happening but I know those things happen in our world,” said Katrina Sproles, Jackson.
But you can find comfort in the fact that area churches do take the safety of their visitors very seriously.
And they have taken measures to guard against the worst.
“When our service starts we lock our doors,” said Lee Hampton, pastor, Church of God.
“We have ushers who monitor who’s coming in and out,” said Rich Zawadzki, pastor, Loomis Park Baptist Church.
Some church leaders have safety plans set up with local law enforcement. Others have plans so secret they declined to share publicly.
But it’s all to keep you feeling safe, yet comfortable and unrestricted.
“It’s just hard it’s such a balance you’re walking the tight rope there because you want people to feel welcome you don’t want someone to come in at 11:05 and say ‘uhp the door’s locked I guess I won’t come in’,” said
Pastors say the key is to be proactive, not reactive.
So if a church is faced with a tough situation, they’re ready.
“I feel like if you don’t have anything in place as a church you certainly need to.”