LITHONIA, Ga. - When the Texas church massacre was unfolding, many pastors in Georgia were leading worship services. Many of those same pastors are now trying to think of ways to add security to protect their parishioners.
Pastor John Elmore owns the 3D Complex in Lithonia. The old movie theater now houses 17 churches. He said when people walk through the doors, they're not thinking about security.
"Everybody's not thinking about people coming in with guns shooting, they're just thinking about people worshiping and praising," said Pastor Elmore.
News of the mass shooting at First Baptist in Sutherland Springs, Texas sent fear and sorrow through the churches here. Pastor C Montez Jones leads the REHAB Church. He said a big part of his job is counseling others in the face of tragedy, but the time has come to expand that focus.
"Now we're preparing people for trauma outside the church, but we're unprepared for trauma that can take place inside the church," said Pastor Jones.
Pastor Jones said this isn't the first shooting at a church and he knows it won't be the last. He said it's more important now than ever before for church leaders to prepare for the unthinkable. He has already started to think of ways to protect his congregation and the others in the community.
"We've just started to pull our resources from outside who can come in and teach us to be aware of what's going on in the church and what we can do," said Pastor Jones.
Pastor Elmore said they already have security, but now it's a matter of adding more and enhancing what they have.
"Plan to hire more security and also to develop more trained security within the ministry itself," said Pastor Elmore.
Pastor Elmore said they are planning to offer a free active shooter class to their pastors and others in the community who want to come.