After the devastating attack on a Baptist church in Texas, some Maryland churches are taking a second look at their own security.
“We are a small church. It’s kind of the same size. Even the red door on the building looked similar to ours, and I just thought what would happen if half of our congregation were massacred. It just really hit home,” Todd Stroud, Pastor, New Hope Alliance, said.
Just a day after hearing about the shooting at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the New Hope Alliance church is looking at ways to up their security, even looking at a carrying a concealed gun as one option.
“I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by six; in other words, I’d rather be outside the law and be able to protect my children than be within the law and massacred,” Pastor Stroud said.
Stroud believes the only way to stop a bad man with a gun is with a good man with a gun, but Maryland law states guns are not allowed within 100 yards of churches.
“I have heard some encouraging things about the ability of a pastor to protect his church based on the fact that it’s kind of like a business. We can view it as a private residence,” Pastor Stroud said.
Pastor Stroud said he may also start locking the doors. Some churches, like First Baptist of Hagerstown, already have security systems set in place.
“Whether they come in through a window, a door or a just move after, they are in there. There’s motion detectors all throughout the building that would pick them up, let the monitoring system know and then they call us,” Thom Smith, Pastor, First Baptist of Hagerstown, said.
Shortly after worship hour begins on Sunday, these are the only doors open, and the rest of the doors are programed to be locked.
“As far as having the front door being unlocked, we just trust the Lord to protect us from anybody walking in there and start shooting or something. We pray it never happens, but if it does, God will give us the strength to get through it,” Pastor Smith said.
Local churches said they send their prayers to those who were impacted by the mass shooting in Texas.