The safety of churches on the minds of pastors and churchgoers

CENTRALIA — Associate Pastor Scott Westfall believes in being prepared for the worst.

Westfall, associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Centralia, is no stranger to church violence. In 2009, the pastor who officiated at a friend's wedding was murdered by a gunman at the First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois, during Sunday services.

After Sunday's massacre at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Westfall said his church began looking into safety training for churches. The congregation already has safety protocols in place in collaboration with both local schools and the nearby police station.

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