Norfolk church shows NewsChannel 3 security measures they take to protect church members

Posted at 7:57 PM, Jun 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-18 19:57:15-04

Norfolk, Va. - The deadly shooting in South Carolina have people talking about security inside churches.

NewsChannel 3 was invited inside First Baptist Norfolk Church Thursday as they explain their security procedures.

First Baptist Norfolk Minister Claude Parent said he was just horrified when he heard about the attack on the church.

Parent said it brings the issue of church security in the limelight.

"We tend to side on being merciful, but the bottom line is that we have to make sure that the people that come to worship are protected," said Parent.

Parent explained the security at his church saying anyone entering the church needs to be buzzed in except when church service is taking place or there is a big event.

He said there are a few members who are professionally trained who bring their gun with them to church.

Plus there's a code word that if announced over the loud speaker would put the place on lockdown.

"Churches are going to have to be more diligent," said Parent.

Parent said they have several security cameras and showed NewsChannel 3 how he can watch the videos on his cell phone at all times.

But not all churches have these types of measures.

Several churches we reached out to today did not want to talk about the issue on camera.

Virginia Beach resident Bob Chauncey is part of the group Church Security Institute and said he's helped several area churches create security plans and thinks more needs to be done.

"The common phrase, 'We’re trusting God.' Well, you can trust God but when you left home this morning you locked the door, your house, you locked the door to the church last night, you locked your car ... so you're still trusting God but you're doing something about it."

"You have to do the best you can to protect your members,” said Parent.