Tulsa Churches are taking steps to keep their congregations safe following Sunday’s deadly shooting at a church in Texas.
Deron Spoo is the pastor of First Baptist Church in downtown Tulsa. He says he is trying to do whatever he can to make sure what happened in Texas doesn’t happen here. If you walk into First Baptist Church on Sunday mornings you will see uniformed Tulsa Police Officers. Pastor Spoo says that's just one of several ways to keep everyone safe.
"I always stop and ask myself, 'are we doing the best we can to keep people safe while they are here?” says Spoo.
It is a question pastors all over the country are asking after the deadly Texas shooting.
"It shouldn't surprise us that darkness is there. We need to be aware and as prepared as we can be,” says Spoo.
Spoo says safety and security has to be a top priority.
They have uniformed police officers, security guards at major entrances and undercover officers who attend church services.
"They are in plain clothes,” says Spoo. “They are there to protect anything that happens inside that worship center space."
Spoo tells me he even has a fourth line of security... members of the church who are licensed to carry a concealed weapon. The church held a training for all members of the church who carry a gun.
"Just to say if something should happen, here is what we expect of you, here is what we don't expect of you,” says Spoo. “Because we don't want something to happen and everyone who is concealed carrying pulls out their gun and all of a sudden our real security force doesn't know who the bad guys are."
Spoo says he feels as prepared as possible but says there's still a balance.
"We can't be paranoid because there are hurting people coming in and out of these doors every week,” says Spoo. “We want to share the gospel with whoever wants to hear the gospel. But if they want to cause trouble, we need to make sure we are prepared to stop them from inflicting harm."
Spoo says he feels responsible for everyone who walks through these doors and will do whatever he can to keep them safe.