WAAY 31 I-Team Investigation: Worshipers defending churches

A team of defense experts in Huntsville is helping churches across the Tennessee Valley develop active shooter plans.

Posted: Oct. 9, 2018 4:28 PM
Updated: Oct. 9, 2018 6:38 PM

WAAY 31’s I-Team takes an in-depth look at worshipers defending their churches. Sadly, people in churches have become targets of shooters.

It’s happened all too often. Within the past year alone, shooters killed 27 people in two church shootings in Nashville and Sutherland Springs, Texas.

A retired Green Beret here in Huntsville is helping churches come up with active shooter plans.

Noell Bishop is a retired Army Special Forces officer and drug enforcement agent. He founded Bishop 30 Solutions. "The '30' stands for the thirty great warriors of David,” Bishop explained to WAAY 31’s Greg Privett.

Bishop and his team train worshipers to defend their churches. "You have to have the plan together,” he told us. “You have to have the trained individuals to implement that plan. If you have both, then you are far above the power curve. And you can save lives that way."

Bishop considers this his ministry. "I think that this is what God wants me to do: helping people and churches and businesses be safe."

In Morgan County’s Eva community, WAAY 31 was with Bishop while his team trained a group of men at Rock Creek Baptist Church. “We just wanted to be prepared,” Pastor Brent Colee told us. "With the way things are in our society, there have been a lot of church shootings.”

The preacher wants to keep his congregation safe. "We have ten or eleven guys that have gone through the training to be able to be prepared for any situation that comes," Colee said.

He has support from his congregation.

"I think we all hate to come to that realization,” Kim Holmes told us. “But, I think it’s become a reality.” Holmes knows a shooter targeting a church is a real possibility. “I think it’s a blessing that we have men in our church that have stood up and took on that responsibility.”

Every church is different. Some churches train their security ministries to use guns. Others choose unarmed security training. Another difference: some churches make their security high-profile. Others don’t.

WAAY 31 went to a shooting range near Ardmore where folks from a Huntsville church were shooting. That church prefers a lower-profile.

No matter what a church chooses, the training is intense. "I've got a series of prerequisites that they have to go through,” Bishop explained. “One builds on the other. They actually start out with the basic Active Shooter course. And then we get into some basic firearms -- some basic tactics. And then it elevates from there.”

Preparing for a life or death situation, Bishop puts church security teams through the paces. They practice over and over. "Muscle memory by them actually doing the physical skills that they've got to do,” Bishop told us, “because you don't want someone to be in a situation and having done the skills for the first time when they're in the bad situation.”

Back at Rock Creek Baptist Church, Bishop’s training gives the men in the security ministry the prayer and power to overcome a church shooter.

“You hope that these guys are never put in that situation and that our church is never put in that situation,” Kim Holmes said. “But, to be prepared for something like that, I’d rather be prepared and never need it, than to need it and not be prepared.”

Noell Bishop prays that his work will save lives. “Preparing you for the worst day of your life,” he said. “We at Bishop 30 Solutions do that. And we take a lot of pride in that."

Click here to go to Bishop 30 Solutions' website.

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