Facility Management

A Nightmare That is Our Reality: Armed Shooter in Church Part 2

Churches in America are considered soft targets by those in the know.

Pastors, church leaders and even the congregation must face the reality that we live in a different world and the threat of an active shooter in a church setting is something which must be considered and prepared for.

Timothy J. Fancher  ·  July 17, 2017

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Without a pre-determined, well-rehearsed plan on how to quickly and effectively stop a mass shooting from happening in your church; you can expect to lose a member of your congregation every 1.7 seconds.

These are the words of, Chris H., a Special Agent with the United States Department of Homeland Security (his last name is withheld for security purposes) when I interviewed him about the threat of an active shooter in a church.

As I stated in Part 1 of the article Potential Active Shooter At Church Part 1, pastors, church leaders and even the congregation must face the reality that we live in a different world and the threat of an active shooter in a church setting is something which must be considered and prepared for. These preparations must include tactical, mental, emotional and of course, spiritual components.

As founder of Psalm 144 Church Protection Seminars, when I must deal with objections to the idea of an armed security team being introduced to a church; I sometimes think, do you also object to having a fire alarm, fire extinguishers and an evacuation plan as well?

Churches prepare for everything from leading a broken person to Christ, to severe weather and fire threats, but tend to become very defensive when the subject is broached of having a proper security team formed and implemented. It must be accepted that having a prepared, active and tactical armed security team is a very real necessity.

I understand that the idea of introducing an armed security team into your church is a difficult proposition. In discussing this with Special Agent Chris H., he replied, “The most important thing a church leader can do to prevent this from happening to his congregation is to first admit that it’s possible. Once that mental hurdle is broken, the rest of the process is easier.If the first time you thought about what you would do in an active shooter situation, is after the shots ring out in your church, you’ve already missed the best opportunity you had to save lives.”

In discussing how federal agents train for and prepare for mass shooting situations, he stated, “I know the point that always gets emphasized the most, is that in these types of incidents where a “soft” group of people (in this case, the congregation) are targeted, once the first shot is fired, the shooter will continue until he runs out of ammunition or someone stops him.”

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Facility Management · Operations · Safety & Security · Blogs & Opinion · Security Preparedness · Security Team · Shooter · All Topics


Timothy J. Fancher
Is the founder of Psalm 144 Church Protection Seminars. Tim earned his Master of Arts in Practical Theology from Oral Roberts University (ORU) in 2013, a Associates of Science in Criminal Justice in 2007 and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis in Sociology in 2010 from Columbia College. Fancher is a former police officer, a street safety and church security expert and has been a professional street self-defense instructor since 1999 with over 30 years of martial arts experience. Fancher is also the founder of American Street Edge Self-Defense systems and has a 4th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate, specializing in teaching kids’ abduction prevention and physical fitness classes. Fancher lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Fancher can be reached through www.psalm144.org
Contact Timothy J. Fancher: timothyfancher@gmail.com ·  View More by Timothy J. Fancher

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By Himanshumishra01 on March 14, 2018

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By Gtech on July 19, 2017

A shooter and audio warning and announcement system is available for Churches and facilities. Take a look at http://www.textspeaknotify.com/#2 . TextSpeak ships a complete system that triggers instantly, installs with just a technician and is really low cost.  This basically can be used to get the word out to people and police at the push of a button. Hope this is helpful


By Keri on July 18, 2017

Thanks for pointing that out!  It was a mistake on our part.  It should be all set now!
Have a great day!


By justin-imprint on July 18, 2017

great article. your links are broken, the one pointing to pt1 doesn’t work and the side bar with the quick link to pt2 links to pt1.

hope that helps!