Locals and pastors weigh in, what local churches are doing to ramp up security

First Presbyterian Church in Albany is considering adding new safety procedures after the mass shooting in Texas.

Photo: Kailey McCarthy

We now know that 26 people were killed inside the First Baptist Church near San Antonio Sunday morning.

FOX 31 Spent the day talking to locals and residents about what they would do during an active shooter situation.

Both parties agree, a shooting like this could happen anywhere.

“I believe this man that did this was purely driven by Satan to do such a horrendous act to what I say, a beautiful small church gathering.”

Local Evangelist and motivational speaker, Shane Waller has spoken to dozens of local churches and youth organizations in Albany.

He is shocked something like this could occur in a sacred place like church.

“When you’re going into a church, you don’t really, that isn't the first thought in your head. You’re going in there to hear the love of God and the word of God and to be surrounded by other believers, that’s like last thought that would come through your head that some mad man is going to come in with a gun.”

Beverly Berrier attends the Church of Christ in Albany every Sunday.

She says it's always a good idea to be observant when going to public places.

“When I’m sitting in church now, I’m always checking out the back door because you never know, you never know who’s coming in.”

First Presbyterian Church in Albany is now considering new safety procedures after Sunday's tragedy.

“I started getting texts last night, just out of curiosity, what do we have in place, that sort of thing. The short answer is that we’ve had initial conversations about this over the years but nothings concrete or definitive has happened," said Pastor Joshua Bower.

Many ideas are being tossed around.

“We have foot traffic on Sunday mornings which we value but a lot of folks carry their stuff with them and so basic stuff like, should people be able to carry a backpack into the church or what procedures do we have to meet people at the door to make sure they’re not bringing something in that could be used as a weapon.”

Bower adds that safety is the number one priority. After this most recent church shooting in Texas, plans may be put into action more quickly.

There will be an active shooter training for church and school officials on Tuesday, November 28th at the Albany Civic Center at 6 p.m..

Americus will have a similar training on Wednesday, November 29th at the United Holiness Church at 6 p.m..

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