Building a church safety and security plan

“You have to have a plan, and you have to document and train on that plan,” says Jeff Laster of Wedgwood Baptist Church. “Treat it like a ministry — and dedicate resources to it.”

On September 15, 1999, a gunman entered Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, during a youth event. In just 12 minutes, he fired more than 100 rounds of ammunition from two handguns and set off a homemade pipe bomb. All told, he wounded seven people and killed seven others before taking his own life.

Your church needs a safety and security plan. GuideStone and Brotherhood Mutual want to help you build one.

Five fact sheets to get you started


Create a plan

The key to creating a good safety and security plan is to break the work into manageable
pieces. Here are some tips to get started.


Train your people

When it comes to a safety and security plan, training can make or break it. Without training, your plan is a lifeless document. Here’s a quick overview.


Secure key areas

Controlling access to your church is one of your first lines of defense. You need to consider all aspects of your ministry. Here are a few areas to think about.


Patrol your church

Your safety and security team is the public expression of your safety and security ministry. The first step is to do an assessment, and then deploy your team to cover critical areas. Here are a few to consider.


Protect with church insurance

Insurance is an essential part of protecting your ministry and your people — and working with a ministry-focused professional is important. Here are a few areas to discuss with your agent.

Additional Resources

From the front lines

Read more of Wedgwood’s story: “The darkness cannot overtake the light”

We’ve partnered with risk management and church insurance expert Brotherhood Mutual to provide resources to help you build your church’s safety and security plan. Explore their extensive Safety Library, or for specialized help,  order The Church Safety and Security Guidebook and DVD kit. Download an excerpt here.

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