Some say security is a must in local churches

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- What happened in Charleston had a lot of worshipers and pastors talking about the need for security at the places they worship.

Some said it's a necessity and not an option.

Whenever people come to Greater Imani Church in Raleigh, there's numerous armed security guards.

Dr. Bill Adkins said his security officers have even trained people in other congregations and taught them about safety inside the places people worship.

"In my view, and there may be some that would argue against it, churches cannot afford to not provide security for its membership- to let the membership know that you're safe coming to church," he said.

Church goers said what happened in Charleston made them want to be more vigilant.

Michael Steward attends St. Andrew AME Church in South Memphis and said security should be a priority at every church.

"Because with legislation and people carrying guns, it's becoming a common place to not to have confrontation through words but we're going to do it through violence," he said.

Wilder Lee,  a security guard at Greater Imani, said he and other officers at the church know exactly what to look for when it comes to protecting members.

"We look at the things that are not obvious, such as figedy, emotions and those type of things. Some people sometimes come and they're uncomfortable in certain environments," he said.

"There are people who would do us harm for no reason other than the color of our skin. For that reason, we have to have a group of men and women dedicated to the task of protecting God's people," Adkins said.

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