Churches amping up security after Texas shootings

LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - The shooting at a Texas church, that left 26 people dead and 20 others injured, has churches in our area on high alert.

Local churches are taking preventative measures to ensure its members are safe.

"I cried out to God and said, 'Lord, are they not going to let us have peace in worshiping you?,'" says Pastor Beverly Knox, Holy Remnant Church.

Knox says times are different now. Even churches have to stay under surveillance.

"We have about 125 or so people," says Knox.

Holy Remnant is similar to the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 people were shot and killed.

"Because it was a small church. Because it was a church at all, we've got to do something," says Knox.

Many bigger churches, like the Evangel Temple, already have a full-fledged security team.

"Some of them are armed. Some of them are not," says David Sharp, Evangel Temple Security Director.

The security officers that are armed have their weapons in plain sight.

"If you've got them out where they're seen I think it's a deterrent," says Sharp.

When service or any other event is going on, the Evangel Temple security team keeps a close eye on the cameras, while others post up at the entrance.

"We feel like we have a need, a responsibility to protect the people inside the church," says Sharp.

Ten trained security officers and an emergency plan is in place. Something Holy Remnant is looking into.

"We've already called the local sheriff's department to find out if we can have training for our deacons," says Knox.

The congregation will go through an emergency action plan, too.

"The word teaches us to be ready," says Knox. "So, this way we will really be putting that word into action."