Local church beefing up security following child abduction

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TAZEWELL, VA (WVNS) — Following the abduction of Noah Trout, some churches may be rethinking their safety measures.

Places of worship are meant to be a happy and safe place, but as we saw with the abduction of Noah Trout, it can sometimes become a dangerous place. Steve Branch is the Pastor at Destiny Outreach Ministries in Tazewell, Virginia. He said his church is prepared for the worst.

“We have security, people within our congregation that have concealed weapons that are trained. We have all of our doors locked, we just have one entrance going in the front so we have more control over that,” said Pastor Branch.

Pastor Branch said the location of the church is another reason for the added security.

“We’re right here on 460. That’s why we do our best to keep all the doors locked because if somebody comes in, they can go out the door but not come in, so we try to focus everything inside on one door so we have the opportunity to handle something before they come in,” said Branch.

He said keeping the kids of the congregation safe is top priority.

“We have those doors locked. We have ushers that have keys, they walk around to make sure we’re safe inside and out. So nobody can get in over there until after the service or if there’s an emergency,” said Branch.

Branch said while Destiny Outreach remains a peaceful place, you never know what could happen. So, they are prepared for anything.

“I hope and pray we never have to use that. But our day and our people, I don’t know,” said Pastor Branch.

Pastor Branch said once more COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, their kid’s church will be adopting a new sign out system via an app and stickers.

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