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Churches across Green Country making changes to improve safety in wake of recent violence

Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 19:16:41-04

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Police officers are seeing a spike in active shooter trainings for churches, and last year legislation passed allowing people to carry in places of worship.

The security director at Rhema Bible Church said he never expected these changes.

"My ideas about people being armed in church is that... it's not a good situation because if an act of violence begins and people aren't really trained on how to respond, they can do more damage than good," Larry Johnson said.

At Rhema Bible Church ushers go through emergency training, and law enforcement is seated among the congregation.

"You've got to stay on top of your game and make sure that everyone is doing their job and they're doing what they've been trained to do. It's not going to get better, apparently. These situations are becoming more and more prevalent," Johnson said.

The University United Methodist Pastor at TU went through active shooter training last year. Now they lock doors during services, although he said that goes against basic church beliefs.

"We have this motto it's "open hearts, open minds, open doors." We learned in that seminar one of the most effective methods of protecting yourself in this kind of tragedy is by just making sure your doors are locked," Reverend Nathan Mattox said.

In the wake of recent violence Mattox created a map of prayer: adding a pin to Sri Lanka on Sunday.

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