Local church leader reflects on Texas church shooting

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

GREENSBORO, N.C. --More than 2,000  church leaders or "messengers" are expected to fill Koury Convention Center in Greensboro for the Annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention of NC.

Approximately 4,300 churches are a part of the organization.

The annual meeting serves as a network opportunity between churches. Break out sessions are available on subjects of ministry, outreach, finances and an exhibit hall full of resources.

Security is also a topic of conversation.

Associate Executive Director Brian Davis said the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was on the minds of everyone.

"I've been a part of several different meetings already and there's not been a single meeting that hasn't begun with a time of prayer asking God to comfort the families, to encourage that congregation and to help the community to realize that God is not far away, he's with them in the midst of this tragedy right now," Davis said.

Davis said that insurers are on hand to speak with leaders about a number of different safety concerns from fire codes to security. They advise all pastors to have a close relationship with their local law enforcement.

"Some meet in storefronts and homes and all kinds, schools, all kinds of different places. We need churches to work with local enforcement to make sure things are contextually appropriate," Davis said.

Officer Douglas Campbell, with Greensboro police, said that calls for church assessments have increased since the Charleston shooting.

Currently 20 churches use security and or traffic enforcement from off-duty officers.

Campbell said a church can simply call the department and ask for an assessment based on four main areas of concern.

"Surveillance, access control, territoriality and maintenance. So you kind of put these concepts up against the church and how it does in those different categories," Campbell said. "We can't offer a guarantee to motivate a person but would encourage people to plan and prepare as best they can and to get us to help them out so hopefully we can work together."