Why would I want Organized Church Security

Often I am asked why would a church feel the need to start a Safety or Security Ministry. Let’s address a couple of the most important reasons for a church to start a team.

1 - What is the primary reason to start a security team? Safety of the members and guests!
Although the recent church violence has provided a kick in the pants to get some churches to start looking at safety - security, the primary benefit is to have a group of watchmen to look after the family. Fact 2008 Church Shootings were up 175% over 2007. In these events the numbers were reduced by the fact safety – security intervened in many cases.

 Your Church should be prepared to evacuate in case of a fire, move the members and guest to safe areas if there is a tornado, and treat the victims if there are medical needs.

Other cases a safety team member may just talk to a person who was having a problem and needs to talk to a caring person. The primary reason to start a team is because we care for the members and guests of our churches and need to have care givers in place.

2 – Due Diligence
A second reason is to know that we have done Due Diligence.

The definition of Due diligence in civil litigation (also known as due care) is the effort made by an ordinarily prudent person or reasonable party to avoid harm to another party. Failure to make this effort may be considered negligence.

The churches insurance company may not be willing to cover the awards in a lawsuit claiming the church permitted a violent event to happen if they believe the church has not completed their due diligence. This could be to a child who walked out of a toddler area, a fire exit that was filled with summer bible school items, a child taken by a parent with custodial rights, a robbery in a dark parking lot, a physical assault or lastly an active shooter. Although the number of assaults and shootings in churches is rare, it is increasing. If a team has been proposed and the church management team declined to implement it, can the church be held liable for the incident? Will the insurance company say the church in negligent and decline to pay a multi million dollar award?

With the noted rise in church violence you need to think about these items:

  1. You have a duty to protect the church family and visitors
  2. Do you provide reasonable protection for those in the facility
  3. Do you do background check for staff and volunteers?
  4. There is a tremendous amount on published incident on church violence, sexual misconduct, poor facility maintenance issues causing accidents.
  5. Have you reviewed the above items
  6. Have you completed a risk assessment?

3 – Peace of Mind for the church body
Can you live with yourselves if a child is assaulted or kidnapped by a predator or non-custodial parent?
Can the church pay a 1 or 2 million dollars or more settlement in a lawsuit and survive if the insurance company decided you have not met due diligence standards?

The reality of the team is it is really there to be a servant based ministry to help people as well as keep them safe from a multitude of events.


Christians and firearms II

May a Christian defend himself using deadly force?

The Bible shows the answer to be a resounding yes!  In fact, I believe that God will be displeased with us if we don't defend ourselves and those God has entrusted to us, and that such defense might even require the use of deadly force.

But, what about biblical commands such as "Thou shall not kill", "Turn the other cheek", "Love your enemy" and "Resist not evil"?

These are indeed commands Christians must obey, but they must be properly understood in their biblical context. If you carry a firearm or other instrument of deadly force and think of yourself as a Christian, you need to know what these commands mean!

God has provided the information necessary for us to understand these commands in His written word, the Bible.  My belief is based on what the Bible says.   I presented a lesson based on my study of this topic at the regular Sunday assembly of the church of Christ that meets in West Columbia, South Carolina, March 3,2002. I've provided my lesson notes and audio file (22MB) of my 45 minute lesson to assist you in understanding how a Christian might confidently use deadly force in accordance with God's will.

The lesson notes contain all the biblical references used in my lesson and the gist of my comments. The audio in some areas contains considerably more comments than are in the lesson notes.

If, after studying my lesson, you can't carry a firearm in full confidence of being obedient to God's will, then please don't carry one!

I would be pleased to receive your constructive criticism or comments.

Edward J. Kelleher
1730 Augusta Road
West Columbia, South Carolina 29169

Email me

Ed Kelleher Bio info




  Writings on this page borrowed from:

Michael Lanford

SC Firearms Training

NOCSSM (National Organization of Church Security and Safety Management)

SLED Certified Instructor I, II, III & CWP

NRA   Certified Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun Instructor

(864)-967-7235 or (864)-414-5533  





Edward J. Kelleher
GrassRoots GunRights President
1730 Augusta Road
West Columbia, South Carolina 29169

Email me