Facility Management

The Potential of An Active Shooter in Church

Does the idea of even discussing the scenario of a shooter in church appear unseemly or unnecessary to you? Then you are the person this article is written for.

Timothy J. Fancher  ·  June 19, 2017

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It is a scenario that was once unthinkable; and now is a growing concern in churches ranging from the rural country churches of Oklahoma all the way to the mega-churches coast to coast – the active shooter.

The absolute nightmare scenario of sounds of worship and prayer being replaced with gunshots.

Does the idea of even discussing this scenario of a shooter in a church appear unseemly or unnecessary to you? Then you are the person this article is written for.

What reason do you need to take my word on this topic?

Because my passion includes protecting people.

I am a Seminary graduate with a Masters of Practical Theology from ORU in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I earned an Associates of Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Sociology from Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri. My credentials as the founder of 144 Church Protection Seminars include: a 4th Degree Black Belt in American Kenpo Karate, teaching street self-defense professionally since 1999, and an extensive background in law enforcement and security.

I give these qualifications as I have discovered some frustrating similarities between the fields of personal protection, theology and church security: otherwise rational, educated individuals can be incredibly stubborn in being open to new ideas and concepts once they are “set in their ways.” It’s my hope that you will accept what I’m presenting, and respond with action that will move your church forward in security preparedness.

A prevailing argument given by many well meaning pastors is, “We have never had any issues here, so why should we worry about an active shooter or any church security issues? It’s just inviting trouble.”

Counter argument: You have never actually died from food poisoning, right? So why bother washing your hands before eating or working to ensure you only eat properly prepared foods?

This is not trying to be flippant, however the first argument sounds as ridiculous to any security professional as the food poisoning argument likely just sounded to you.

Another argument: “We have faith that God will protect us.”

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Facility Management · Safety & Security · Blogs & Opinion · Security & Safety · 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 leftshot on June 20, 2017

Lots of good stuff here.  I do have a concern (and an opportunity).  From studies I’ve seen most violent deaths and injuries on church campuses result from a spill over of domestic violence into the church.  This is a far different scenario than what most people think of when they hear the term “active shooter”.  It also may be motivating to get pastors engaged in planning for such an event.  Because a great deal of the time the violent act is committed in front of a pastor.