Safety must be part of sanctuary, pastor says

- The recent violence at a church in Texas is putting many local churches on high alert.

Now, some are even adding extra security. FOX 29's Dave Kinchen reported Monday night from Chalfont on how one is taking precautionary measures.

Calvary Chapel in Chalfont may look like your everyday house of worship, but sermons come with added security here.

"We're living in times where, you know, all bets are off, it seems like, and nothing is sacred," Pastor Steve Feeley said.

That's why his team placed a premium on protection a while back, with the deadly mass shooting at a Texas church reminding him of the risks.

"This tragedy that happened [Sunday] confirms that what we're doing is the right thing to do.,
Feeley said.

Church officials say they handpicked more than a dozen congregation members to prepare for the worst scenarios. Some are ex-military. And, yes, we're told a few do have licenses to carry guns.

"For churches out there, it's time – it's time to get the security mindset, and it's time to protect your flock," said David Outland, Calvary's security director and a retired cop.

Outland says numerous cameras watch the inside and outside angles of the building, feeding into a nerve center. And that's not all.

"We approach with love but, you know, you're doing a quick assessment of the individuals," Outland said. "If somebody looks like their angry, maybe upset, they may have tears in their eyes. You watch for the flexing of the hands and different body language."

Many lessons here were learned after a deadly shooting inside Keystone Church in nearby North Wales last year. The Calvary active-shooter training was underscored after the Texas tragedy.

"I feel very confident that we would see this developing out in the parking lot and our specially-trained security members would encounter that and deal with it prior to it getting into the church," Outland said.

"We don't do this though out of fear, right. We're not giving in to the spirit of fear but the power of love and a sound mind. And so with our sound minds, we just want to keep our eyes open and be alert," the pastor said.

We found some churches in our area have some form of security in place, at the very least video surveillance systems. But certainly other churches are likely to have this conversation soon, if they have not already, Kinchen reported.

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