HATTIESBURG, Miss.(WHLT) – Local pastors gathered at West Point Baptist Church Thursday to learn about implementing a security plan for their congregations.

The Mississippi Department of Homeland Security and Gaming Commission, taught the importance of creating a security plan and team, especially if weapons are going to be involved.
Jim Brinson with the Homeland Security explains how it’s much more than arming someone in the congregation with a gun.
“Basically what we’re teaching churches is all the stuff that you do prior to putting guns in churches for security. So doing security assessments, what they already have in place. Evaluating their doors and windows, looking at their property line, across their parking lot to their front door.”

He also talked about how crucial picking your security is.

“If you’re introducing weapons into your church, you want to make sure that you’re getting your good quality trust worthy people that actually understand how that firearm functions, and seek as much training, and the best training that you could possibly get, because when you introduce a firearm into a group of people, once you pull it, it’s not going to end well regardless how many people you have with guns.”

Along with Jim, Ben Harper, with the Gaming Commission emphasized how communication is key in developing a strong plan.

“I think failure to plan, is planning to fail. That’s cliche that we think’s been unfortunately proven recent history of our country. So we’re offering a way to begin a plan for each house of worship.”

Pastor Reginald Buckley with Cade Chapel in Jackson, says because of the previous church incidents this year, it’s better to stay prepared, and that’s why he came to the training.

“Because of the partnership between the Baptist Convention, Families First for Mississippi, Mississippi Homeland Security Office bringing this together, I think it’s really going to benefit a lot of congregations. Not just here in this area, but across the state. “