Tennessee Pastor Encourages Churches to Consider Staffing Armed Guards
A Raleigh, TN pastor is urging churches to consider getting armed security given the current climate in America.
Pastor Bill Adkins of Greater Imani Church in Raleigh, a suburb in Memphis, Tennessee, hired armed guards to protect his church 11 years ago, and now he is encouraging other churches to consider doing the same.
“It’s a shame when we can’t go into God’s church and pray and not have to turn around and look at our backsides and wonder who’s coming up behind us,” Adkins told Fox 13 in an Interview.
Reportedly, the pastor received criticism from his community and congregants when he decided to bring trained armed guards to his church over a decade ago. The pastor told Fox 13 that some people even argued with him saying that armed security was not appropriate to have at a place of worship, but Adkins said he made the decision to protect his almost 2,000 congregants and to assure that they can worship without having to watch their backs.
“These are just times in which we have to make a decision, either we’re going to look out for ourselves and protect our people or we’re going to remain soft targets,” Adkins said.
The Greater Imani Church security team, known as the Greater Imani Watchmen, is made up of trained professionals that were either former military or law enforcement officers and who frequently work with local law enforcement for training.
“There has to be a certain degree of training and how you will protect God’s house, what aisles you will go down, the strategies you’ll use, paths of firing,” he said.
Adkins said the recent Pittsburgh synagogue shooting should serve as a wakeup call for churches around the country.
“Another horror story, another sad tragic event in America where we seem to not be able to understand why there’s so much hate in the world today,” the pastor concluded.
Photo courtesy: Debby Hudson/Unsplash
Video courtesy: Fox 13