Madison church leaders formulate safety plans

Church security is under scrutiny as leaders say the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, could’ve easily happened to them, but they say they’re determined to rely on their faith.

Just before the South Carolina shooting, some Madison church leaders attended a workplace safety conference, and now they say they’re formulating a new safety plan.

For the past three nights, hundreds of Madison children have jammed into City Church for a safari. Their June Jam is one example of the congregation inviting the public into their pews, but now pastors like Greg Pechacek are watching things more closely.

“We are more vigilant in the things we are doing,” Pechacek said. “We want to be welcoming, but we want it to be a safe and secure place as well. So it’s really a double-edged sword to finding the balance.”

City Church staff members are now in the process of putting some new security measures in place.

“I think ultimately it would prepare us if something did happen,” Pechacek said. “But I think before that it would help us identify potential problems.”

Changes include staff members being better at communicating concerns they see.

“You just never know where it’s going to happen,” Pechacek said. “We just want to be prepared.”

The pastor at Blackhawk Church said they have a security team with procedures to follow.

A security expert told News 3 to his knowledge there are not Madison churches that have security guards in place.