When Faith Isn’t Enough: A Colorado Man’s Crusade For Church Security

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Photo: AC Church Security
A memorial for the victims of the shooting at Sutherland Springs Baptist Church includes 26 white chairs, each painted with a cross and and rose, placed in the sanctuary, Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A man opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community Nov. 5, killing more than two dozen people.

When a gunman opened fire recently inside a Texas church, killing 26 people, Carl Chinn immediately hopped on a plane. He didn't know anyone in Sutherland Springs, where the shooting occurred, but they shared a connection --one that Chinn says has changed his life.

A former building engineer for Focus on the Family, the conservative religious organization, Chinn was present during two violent incidents at its facilities. As a result, Chinn began tracking deadly force incidents at houses of worship; he told Colorado Matters that there have been more than 1,600 such cases since 1999.

Chinn has formed a non-profit, Faith Based Security Network. Its goal is to help houses of worship prepare for and prevent acts of violence.