The leader of the National Baptist Convention, USA, says his member churches should “do everything that is humanly possible” to protect themselves – even if it means hiring armed guards.
However, the head of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion denomination would rather churches call 911 if necessary.
After nine people were fatally shot at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, and more than half a dozen Black churches have burned, officials of mostly Black denominations are taking different — and sometimes contradictory — approaches as they try to prepare for a safer future.
On July 1, More than 1,000 people took part in a Department of Homeland Security webinar that emphasized measures to prepare for a range of crises.
The Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-chair of the National African American Clergy Network, tuned in to the webinar and heard advice on how congregations should connect with first responders.