Security top priority for many UT churches

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) The Texas church murders shattered the sanctuary of church across the nation and Utah, forcing pastors to revisit their security plan.

When Pastor France Davis came to Calvary Baptist Church 45 years ago, he never expected to hear about mass murder in a place of worship.

“I thought that churches were a sacred place that people had respect for them,” Pastor Davis said.  

Now, a top priority for the church is ensuring the 1,400 Sunday worshippers remain safe.

Only a handful of doors allow access to the chapel. Inside, a plain-clothes security team keeps watch. 

“We know what to expect of the members of the church. When others come, we don’t know them and have to be careful,” Pastor Davis said. 

“It is a pastor’s worst nightmare,” The Point Church Pastor Corey Hodges said. 

The Point Church in Kearns also set up a secret security team made up of former military and law enforcement officers with tactical and active shooter training.

“I feel obligated to protect the sheep, our congregants,” Pastor Hodges said. 

Pastor Hodges also installed a comprehensive camera system, keyless entry, and asks parishioners to alert the security team of any violent domestic issues that could come knocking.

This week, Calvary Baptist Church celebrates their 125th anniversary in Salt Lake City. They’ve hired extra off-duty police officers to keep an eye out for trouble.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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