Upstate churches react to church shooting in Texas, talk securit - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate churches react to church shooting in Texas, talk security measures

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Upstate churches talk security measures following deadly shooting at Texas church (FOX Carolina) Upstate churches talk security measures following deadly shooting at Texas church (FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Communication is at an all-time high. Patrol lights are flashing, security cameras rolling, and congregations on high alert during Sunday evening services.

"That's something in my father's generation, a couple generations ago people didn't think about,” said Morningside Baptist Church Senior Pastor Josh Crockett. “People left their front doors open."

The Greenville pastor said times are changing, and churches have no choice but to adapt.

"We want our doors to be open to the community to welcome anyone and all who will come,” Crockett said. “And yet there are times throughout the week and even throughout our services that we keep our doors locked."

He said it's a tough call, but one his church made more than 16 years ago after 9-11. Now, they have a team dedicated to keeping church members safe. They're called the Gatekeepers and volunteers patrol the parking lot to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. There are also volunteers on high alert next to any unlocked doors, ready to take action at any moment.

"Having law enforcement members in the church is great to help train and make sure our Gatekeepers are adequately trained and prepared in case a tragic attack happens,” Crockett said.

Details are flooding in from Sutherland Springs, Texas where dozens were shot and killed during Sunday morning services.

        26 killed in church attack in Texas' worst mass shooting

Redemption Church in Greenville said it's times like these that make them grateful they already have security in place.

"We have armed officers as well as unarmed officers and those are uniformed and plain-clothed officers that specialize in foot patrol and securing facilities all the way to executive protection,” said Travis Hayes. “We also utilize the Greenville County deputies during services and major events."

Hayes, the Church CFO said with more than 21,000 church members they can't take any chances. Their wall of security cameras is always recording and 24 hours a day they have teams patrolling the parking lots.

"I think there's a fine balance between not looking like a police state if you will, but a fine balance of letting people know they are safe and can worship without anything bad happening,” Hayes said.

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