Conference designed to teach how to secure worship centers

Conference designed to teach how to secure worship centers
April 07
00:00 2016



After serving more than 30 years in law enforcement and training on local, state and federal levels, Winston-Salem’s own Bobby Kimbrough is looking to help the local faith-based community to develop security awareness.

Kimbrough has decided that now is the time to educate local faith communities on how to maintain safety from the parking lot to the pulpit.

In 2014, Kimbrough was appointed director of security for Global United Fellowship by presiding Bishop Neil Ellis. As director, Kimbrough personally secures Bishop Ellis and more than 180 other nationally known bishops from all over the world and the prime minister of the Bahamas. He has also been called to provide security detail for dozens of celebrities and entertainers, such as CiCi Winans and Chris Tucker.

“While we pray to our God, we also need to stand guard,” Kimbrough said this week.

“I tell people all the time, if the security at the White House can be breached, then the security at your church can be breached,” With the recent hike in the number of violent crimes taking place inside churches and other places of worship, faith ministries across the nation are looking at ways to improve security.

It’s no secret that churches are generally open environments and therefore much more vulnerable to violent crimes than other controlled work-places and institutions.

Every year about 60 people are killed in U.S. churches. Since 1999, over 622 violent deaths have occurred on church and faith-based properties.

Just last month in Dayton, Ohio, the Rev. William Schooler, pastor of St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church, was gunned down by his own brother Daniel Schooler inside an office inside the church.

The Charleston Massacre, which happened last year in Charleston, S.C., provides a case of violence involving a stranger coming to a place of worship. Nine people were killed as a result. Even with that said, most places of worship in America are not prepared to deal with issues such as an active gunman. Many churches don’t even know where to begin when starting a security ministry.

On April 16, Kimbrough will host a workshop that will address maintaining security in the worship place. The conference will touch on a number of topics, including current trends in church violence, dealing with disorderly and suspicious people, planning ahead for emergencies, planning for likely incidents and threats from predators.

Those who attend will also learn the team approach to security, how to communicate with other ministries and how to create emergency evacuation plans.

Kimbrough said he decided to host the conference because before he retired, he wanted to use his expertise to make a difference in the worship place.

During an interview with The Chronicle this week, Kimbrough noted that in the black community, the church is often regarded as the cornerstone and most powerful entity.

“If it is the most powerful entity in our community and it doesn’t have any security, what does that say about us?

“We talk about safe streets, but what about safe churches and safe worship?” he continued. “That’s what this conference is all about: protecting our most powerful entity.”

“Plan, Prepare & Protect”: Safety and Security in the Place of Worship

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 16, at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1325 Creekshire Way. Light refreshments will be served. Tickets for the event can be purchased at 

For more information, call Denise Smith at 888-239-4775.

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