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Churches in Franklin and Lauderdale County increase security measures

This comes after voters passed amendments five and six in both Franklin and Lauderdale Counties on Tuesday. It allows a person to use deadly physical force in self defense while inside of a church.

Posted: Nov 5, 2020 11:40 PM
Updated: Nov 6, 2020 9:53 AM

Churches in North Alabama are making plans to increase security measures.

This comes after voters passed amendments five and six in both Franklin and Lauderdale Counties on Tuesday.

It allows a person to use deadly physical force in self defense while inside of a church.

Church leaders in both Lauderdale and Franklin counties say, especially with the county's divide and tensions surrounding the election, it's more important than ever to improve safety.

"We've seen multiple church shootings and things like that, so really I think it's a good thing," said pastor, Michael Cole.

"Just for the safety of our congregation, our community, for the people around us, for the people we minister to on a daily basis," said pastor, Sean Reathford.

Church pastors in Franklin and Lauderdale counties say they think the stand your ground amendments will help church attendees feel safer.

"When I was growing up, we didn't have to worry about someone coming into our congregation with a gun," said Reathford.

Now, pastors feel they still need to make some safety improvements.

"It was necessary I believe for the times and things that we are living through and some of the things that are going on in our country right now," said Reathford.

Pastor for Redemption Outreach Church in Russellville, Sean Reathford said while his church has had security for about two years now, he says election-related violence across the country is concerning

"We are going to be taking actions in the days to come to brief. We have a staff meeting once a week and we will brief all of our security team if something like that were to take place," said Reathford.

Pastor of Mount Bethel United Methodist in Rogersville, Michael Cole, says his church doesn't have a security team, but that's going to change too.

"We will be getting together and making a security plan and possibly getting some people trained," said Cole.

Both pastors say they are doing everything they can to protect their congregation.

"We just feel god has called us to protect those people," said Reathford.

"You can't turn a sanctuary into a gunfight at the ok corral. There has to be guidelines," said Cole.

Pastor Cole says this Sunday, church board members will be meeting to go over the stand your ground amendment and what kind of safety plans they can put in place.

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