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Former Army Ranger uses skills to protect churches

Posted January 14
Updated January 15

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— The potential for violence at places of worship has church leaders rethinking security, and a former soldier is using his military skills to teach congregations how to be safe.

Anthony Waddy is a former Army Ranger and is also the director of training for Shadow Protective Services in Fayetteville. He has provided security and transportation for top executives, government leaders and entertainers across the country and is an expert marksman.

“Every bullet has an address and you want to make sure that address is the bad person,” said Waddy.

Waddy recently began taking his security skills off the range and into churches. He said he forms small security teams from regular church members, but those who have former military or law enforcement experience are best.

Joe Johnson, the senior pastor of Insoul Church on 71st School Road, hired Waddy to beef up security at his church after a church-goer came up on stage, slammed her bible on top of his, and made several demands.

“It stunned us, and although we had a few little measures in place, that also was an eye-opener that we weren’t ready. We were caught off-guard,” said Johnson.

Johnson said recent incidents at other churches were motivating factors, too. In December, police used a Taser on 52-year-old Kevin Whiting after he caused a disturbance at Smith Chapel Free Will Baptist Church in Fayetteville. Gregory Boone, a 32-year-old convicted felon, brought a semi-automatic rifle into another Fayetteville church on New Year’s Eve.

“Being prepared is the best prevention,” said Johnson.

Waddy said his company is now organizing security teams in churches in several locations in Fayetteville and Raleigh.

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  • Maurice Pentico Jr. Jan 14, 2016
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    I know of several churches that now have off duty police and trained volunteers working every service to handle things like evacuations for a fire, a medical emergency, protester disruptions, and yes even an active shooter. And folks might be surprised by the number of church goers that conceal carry. A reality of life these days.

  • carlb202 Jan 14, 2016

    That is just too awesome. I wonder if he's volunteering his services or what? Either way, it's pretty cool. It's sad that a church congregation would even need a security staff, but hey, we've been lucky for a long time. Look at what Christians in the rest of the world have to live (or die) with every day.