A local church is working to prepare for the worst… an active shooting. Beulah Grove Baptist in Augusta hosted an active shooter training class Saturday to teach the community how to respond.
“Don’t plan for ‘if’ something happens. Plan for ‘when’ it happens,” Shane McDaniel who spoke at the course said.
Attacks at churches have been making national headlines– Last November, 26 people died after a mass shooting at First Baptist in Texas. And in 2015, 9 people were shot and killed at a church in Charleston.
But Beulah Grove Baptist in Augusta, with a congregation of at least 5000, refuses to be in that mix: “Who knows: You might save your own life. You might save the life of your family,” Pastor Sam Davis explained.
McDaniel told us it’s all about the game plan.
“It is a very big church and it has a very big population. It has retired military, retired law enforcement in there,” McDaniel said. “When you get those men and women together and brains together and build that security team.”
He explained monitoring parking lots and using security cameras are always a good idea.
Michael Meyers with Augusta Fire spoke specifically to the church’s security team and ushers: “People are here from the fire department teaching paramedic skills in a sense– first aid safety. You need to have all these things in place.
I asked Meyers if the signs that say “No weapons of any kind allowed” would draw a shooter to that location.
“Some people may say ‘Well, I know if I see that sign, nobody in the church has one.’ That is not the case. Just like here… There are designated people that carry,” Meyers said.
But McDaniel told us it takes more than a church security team for that game plan to play out: “It’s the same thing we would say in a law enforcement setting:”If you see something suspicious, say something.'”
If you want to hold an active shooter training course at your church, you can contact Beulah Grove Baptist Church.