Parkersburg pastor talks about church security

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PARKERSBURG, WVa.-(WTAP) A local pastor says churches in our area need a security plan to avoid tragedies like this past weekend's mass shooting in Pittsburgh.

But what type of plan they employ depends on how large they are.

Brady Stephens, Pastor of the Homeland Community Church, says some local churches only have a few members, while others have as many as 1,000.

And he adds welcoming new members, many of whom are strangers, is part of what they do.

"We are actively trying to get people to come in who we don't even know, and that's the nature of a church," Pastor Stephens says. "That brings risks with it, but that's risks we want to take, that we have to take. That doesn't mean there aren't some things you can do to make your church more secure."

Pastor Stephens is a former law enforcement officer, whose background includes working for the Parkersburg Police Department in the 1970's and '80's.

He says armed security would be a plus for houses of worship, But people need to be well-trained-beyond what's taught in concealed carry classes.